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"Greece is the Piedmont of the East, the only hope of re- 
organization of the future, to those who look for freedom." 
Lord Rosebery, speaking at Manchester in 1879 

"First of all, the chieftain of the isle 
Set in the sparkling sea where free airs blew 
And filled his soul with Glory, as the wind 
Fills the fain sail that has been sick with calm, 
And, now, a larger voyage still must shape — 
Call, Hellas, call thy Venizelos home. 
And set him over all — who has the hearts of all!" 

Edith M. Thomas 

"The works of a man for which we vest him 
Were done in the dark and the cold." 



THE biographer of a living man, especially of a living 
man whose career is in the making, must perforce 
deal with moot questions and problems not yet solved. 
He must renounce the historian's privilege of forming 
judgments upon solid bases. He does not know how poli- 
cies will work out. , Much documentary evidence is still 
in diplomatic archives. No actor in the story has taken 
the world wholly into his confidence. The biographer is 
conscious of the element of special pleading in public 
statements of policy, in collections of official documents, 
in every explanation by this or that man of the reason for 
having done this or that thing. 

But the reporter (for this is what the writer on con- 
temporary events really is) enjoys advantages, denied to 
the historians of to-morrow, upon which he has the right 
to insist. He has been an eye-witness of the events he 
describes. He has come into close personal contact with 
makers of history at the moment the history was made. 
The judgments of the later writer may be more valuable 
in the sense of recording and interpreting the motives of 
statesmen and the merits of their policies. But he will go 
astray unless he reads what we of to-day write. Docu- 


ments and memoirs alone cannot reconstitute the atmos- 
phere of the great drama. Nor are motives and policies 
to be judged solely by their success or failure. So the con- 
temporary biographer or reporter must be consulted to 
find out what were the psychological factors that shaped 
motives, that influenced — sometimes irresistibly — acts. 

To be specific, within the field of this biography, with- 
out the observations of the reporter who knew how the 
people felt at the moment, it would be impossible for the 
future historian to estimate accurately the factors that 
precipitated the Second Balkan War, that kept Greece 
neutral in 191 5 and 1916, and that dictated the policy of 
Venizelos at the Peace Conference. 

I make no secret of my deep sympathy with the cause 
of Hellenism and my admiration for my subject. But this 
book is neither panegyric nor propaganda. Warm friends 
I have had, and still have, among the Bulgarians, and 
as a college teacher in the Near East during the period 
under survey, I came into intimate association with all 
the Balkan nationalities and the Turks as well. Each race 
has its good qualities. Each race has sufl'ered from the 
blight of the Ottoman yoke. 

In the preparation of this volume I have had the aid 
of competent authorities on the Balkans. Much of the 
story has come from Premier Venizelos himself and from 
M. Politis, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs since 1917. 


These main actx)rs in the regeneration of Greece have been 
gracious enough to read my manuscript and call my atten- 
tion to errors of fact. Others who have been helpful are 
Mr. J. D. Bourchier, of the London Times; Professor 
Andreades of the University of Athens ; M. Tsolianos, pri- 
vate secretary to Premier Venizelos; Dr. A. P. Sawidis, 
of Harvard University; Professor Westermann, of the 
University of Wisconsin; Senator Moses, former American 
Minister to Greece; Mn Michail Dorizas, of the Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania; Mr. M. Kaltchas, a graduate of 
Robert College; and my wife, who has worked with me in 
the Balkans and at Paris for more than ten years in the 
preparation of this material. 

As in the case of my previous volumes on the Near East, 
the unusual opportunities I have enjoyed of travel and 
study on the spot are due to the constant interest and 
direction of the late James Gordon Bennett and of Mr. 
Rodman Wanamaker. 

Herbert Adams Gibbons 

Princeton^ October i, 1920 


I. The Boyhood and Early Manhood of an Unre- 
deemed Greek i 

II. A Revolutionary by Profession 12 

III. Venizelos solves the Cretan Question 52 

IV. Venizelos intervenes in Greece 77 
V. The Balkan Alliance surprises Europe ioi 

VI. Turkey is crushed by her Former Balkan Subjects 118 
VII. The Second Balkan War and the Treaty of Buka- 

REST 136 

VIII. Venizelos reorganizes Greece internally '^ 159- 

IX. Venizelos offers to join the Entente against 

Germany » 191 - 


XI. Venizelos goes to Saloniki ' 275 

XII. Greece in the World War 301 

XIII. Venizelos at the Peace Conference 330 

XIV. Greece against the Integrity of the Ottoman 

Empire 358 





A MONG island Greeks f ecaindity is too common to be 
-/Jl looked upon as a particailar favor of the gods. How 
many children a woman has does not count. The crown- 
ing blessing of heaven is the ability, the good fortune, to 
rear children. Poor and untutored mothers expect to lose 
more than half their babies, but when the third child of 
Georgios Venizelos did not survive the first year, Cretan 
women shook their heads. A rich merchant was in a posi- 
tion to give his wife the best of care and to fight for his 
babies; it must be that Despina Venizelos had no luck. 

The housewives of Mourmies lifted their hands in de- 
spair when the birth of a fourth Venizelos was announced. 
Once more the mother had come up from Canea to the 
little village on the mountain-side. The news went the 
rounds on an August morning in 1864. And the name! 
Eleutherios, indeed! Why stake freedom against fate? 
The contemporaries of Sophocles accepted the teaching 
that one cannot escape his destiny. The natural tendency 


to fatalism was deq)ened by twenty-three centuries of 
bitter experience. Contact with and subjection to Islam, 
while it provoked resistance, confirmed the conviction of 
the utter hopelessness of pitting the human will against 
what was foreordained. It is impossible for the freeman to 
comprehend the paralysis of the slave's will, his resigna- 
tion, his superstitious regulating of life and conduct by 
signs. No Hellenes had more reason to despair than the 
Cretans. They kicked blindly and passionately against 
the pricks. On several memorable occasions during the 
century of the world-wide growth of national conscious- 
ness and gradual winning of freedom by subject races, in 
which their own had been partly successful elsewhere, the 
Cretans had risen against the Turks. But each time they 
had been stirred up by outside events, and looked for 
emancipation to outside intervention. In themselves they 
had no faith : for in their own destiny they had no hope. 

An omen is good or bad according to what happens. 
Had Eleutherios died, the ill luck of Despina Venizelos in 
children would have been confirmed. Since he lived, and 
with that name, the superstitiously minded, which meant 
everybody who had ever heard of the baby, claimed for 
the child a wonderful career under kindly stars. 

Venizelos came just in time to be bom an unredeemed 
Greek. Another fruitless revolution broke out when he 
was two years old. His father, ardent partisan of union 


with Greece, was involved in the movement, and exiled by 
the Ottoman authorities. The family went for a few years 
to Cythera, and thence to Syra, where Venizelos learned 
his first letters. 

Memories of free Greece, however, must have been 
dim to the boy, for the amnesty of 1872 enabled the family 
to return to Canea. The elder Venizelos had all his prop- 
erty and interests in Crete, and it was home there, despite 
the Turkish flag. The Cretans have the right to claim the 
liberator of Crete and the savior of Hellas as their own. 
From the age of eight to twenty Venizelos attended the 
lower schools and high school of Canea. He grew up an 
unredeemed Greek, coming gradually to the consciousness 
of the terrible humiliation of alien rule. The Turks were 
a dominant race, contributing nothing to the community, 
but arrogating to themselves privileges which cut deep 
into the souls of the Cretans, and obstructing the agricul- 
tural and commercial development of the country. The 
menace of the Turkish jail, of confiscation of property, 
even of death, was always in the air. When the Turkish 
garrisons left the island, and autonomy was granted, the 
overlordship of Constantinople was still annoying and 
irritating. The Moslem population, a strong minority in 
Canea, would not submit to laws and regulations. The 
Sublime Porte interfered to hamper every measure of prog- 
ress and to forbid natural intercourse with free Greece. 


The Powers sustained the Turks. There was no future for 
Crete or for the Cretans. 

Ardent patriot as he had proved tumself in his earlier 
days, Georgios Venizelos felt that to send his hoy to 
Greece for further schooling would make for unhappiness. 
To the Ottoman Greek the consolation for his political 
bondage was to forget himself in trade. In a material way, 
at leasts there was compensation. The higher education 
at Athens fitted the imredeemed Greek only for a life of 
unrest and uncertainty and vicissitudes. The man with 
a fortune risked its confiscation; with a business, its ruin. 
The professional man, after finishing the university, could 
enjoy freedom, but at the price of living in exile, away 
from his family and of no service to his compatriots. If he 
returned home, he had to submit to the Turks or become 
a revolutionary. The former course destroyed his soul; 
the latter involved the security of his family. When 
Eleutherios begged to be allowed to continue his studies 
and become a lawyer, his father refused. Like all men who 
have gone through hard times in their youth and then 
prospered, Georgios Venizelos wanted his son to learn by 
his experience and share his success. He insisted that 
Eleutherios go into business with him at Canea. If the 
boy studied at Athens, he would return to become a polit- 
ical agitator. That did not pay. Nor would it help. If 
Crete became f ree, it would be by some outside upheaval 


in Europe tx> bring about which and in which the Cretans 
themselves could play no part. 

Fortunately for Crete and Hellenism, the Greek Consul- 
General at Canea was a frequent visitor in the Venizelos 
home. Geor^os Zigomalas had long observed the remark- 
able intellectual gifts of Eleutherios, not only from his 
record in the high school, but also from discussions around 
the dinner-table. The cause of Hellenism could not afford 
to lose the combination of enthusiasm and common sense, 
of brains and courage, of energy and self-possession, so 
rare in the Greek race and virtually lacking in the Cretans. 
Zigomalas may not have foreseen the role Eleutherios 
Venizelos could play in the regeneration of Greece, but he 
did know that men with the qualities of leadership were 
not to be found among the Cretans, that the younger 
Venizelos possessed those qualities to a remarkable degree, 
and that the essential first step in the emancipation of un- 
redeemed Greece was the union of Crete with the Kingdom 
of Greece. Zgomalas told the elder Venizelos that he had 
not the right to deprive Crete of her potential leader. It 
took two years of pleading, during which Eleutherios re- 
mained in his father's counting-room. Finally he was sent 
to the University of Athens to study law. 

Did a great man ever plan his career in his youtli and 
follow it step by step? Some, in retrospiect, have said that 
they did, but they have probably been led into deceiving 


themselves by the insidious temptation of hindsight. They 
may have succeeded in realizing dreams, they may have 
reached cherished goals; but Dick Whittingtons have no 
path to the lord mayoralty marked out. The rungs of the 
ladder appear one by one as the man of will, energy, and 
aspirations mounts. It is possible, however, for the man 
who leads his fellows to have a progranmie from his youth 
up, and to go forward by making every step conform to the 
principles of that programme. Experience modifies the de- 
tails, but does not change the ideals. In this sense we can 
say that the life-work of Venizelos was decided upon and 
entered upon from the moment he began his studies at 

Greeks love to talk. They do their thinking aloud, and 
ideas come with words. Perhaps in this they do not diflFer 
greatly from other races rich in historical and philosophical 
literature. New races, or rather races new in civilization 
building, have the good fortune not to be boimd by their 
past. They are free agents. They do not have the prob- 
lem of re-creating a national life upon old foundations. 
They do not know the meaning of that wonderful expres- 
sion bom of the recent war — "to carry on." Pioneers, 
they build where and as they please. Their evolution is 
shaped by circumstances. Occidental writers and travel- 
ers of the nineteenth century blamed severely, even ridi- 
culed, the Greeks for being too ambitious in their concep- 


tion of the role of modem Greece in the Near East. The 
relationship between ancient and modem Greece was 
denied in learned treatises, and the Greeks were scolded 
for not being content with the little kingdom at the tip 
of the Balkan peninsula. When I first visited Athens in 
1908, an English archaeologist told me that the Greeks 
were hopeless. "The moment these people get a little 
education," he complained, "they dream of restoring 
Hellas — an absurd and impossible aspiration that is 
paralyzing the life of this country.'* 

If the archaeologist had been able to get the dust of his 
rains out of his eyes and see that the Hellenes, bound to- 
gether by language and literature and Church, were never 
more alive than at the beginning of the twentieth century, 
he would have understood the dissatisfaction of the edu- 
cated Greeks with their lot and would have realized that 
their conception of a new Hellas inevitably transcended 
the narrow confines of the artificial little kingdom set up 
by the European Powers. The corollary of the weakness 
and approaching dissolution of the Ottoman Empire was 
the advocacy by the Greeks of the reversion to them of 
what they had formerly owned. 

The reasonable hope of a renascence of Hellenism was 
just beginning to be entertained in university circles 
when Venizelos went to complete his studies at Athens. 
It was the decade after the Turko-Russian War. Six years 


before, the Congress of Berlin had passed judgment on 
the short-lived Treaty of San Stefano, and had attempted 
to arrange Balkan questions in accordance with the fears 
and ambitions of rival Powers. Montenegro had been 
coerced by the Great Powers into returning emancipated 
districts to Turkey. Greece had recently acquired Thes- 
saly. During the student days of Venizelos, Bulgaria an- 
nexed Eastern Rumelia, the war between Bulgaria and 
Serbia was fought, and the Macedonian question began to 
divide the Balkan races. 

The events of the years 1 884-1 886 furnished engrossing 
topics of conversation for the students of the University 
of Athens. It was realized that the last war with Russia 
had been a mortal blow for Turkey, and that the Great 
Powers were not in a pdsition to enforce the decrees of 
Berlin. By annexing Eastern Rumelia, Bulgaria defied 
successfully both Turkey and the Powers. The Serbo- 
Bulgarian War foreshadowed an approaching crisis in the 
rivalry for the inheritance of Macedonia. Serbia had large 
backing in her unredeemed lands of Bosnia, Herzegovina, 
and the Hapsburg Empire. Bulgarian nationalism was 
aggressive and the Bulgarians outnumbered the Greeks 
of the kingdom. 

It was during these days that Venizelos came to a 
realization of the vital necessity of using Athens as the 
means of liberating Saloniki and Constantinople and 


Smyrna. The struggling little kingdom must be strength- 
ened internally and added to, province after province, 
following the example of Thessaly. Through the Greece 
created by the Powers the Greek race must pit its strength 
against the Powers and Turkey combined, and must pre- 
vent the absorption of Greek lands by Slavic races. The 
young Cretan posed before his comrades the problem 
of the relation of Hellenes to the Kingdom of Greece. He 
asserted the doctrine of subordinating regionalism and 
particularism to the ideal of Greek unity. He intended to 
return to Crete to work for the redemption of his country. 
But, although redemption meant the union of the Greeks, 
and not simply union with Greece, the latter must come 

Venizelos was proud of citing his own ancestry as an 
illustration of the indissolubility of the idea of Greek na- 
tional consciousness with the ideal of Greek political unity. 
He belonged to Hellas, not to Crete. His ancestors were 
in charge of the great library of Alexandria when it was 
destroyed by Omar, and his own patronymic went back to 
the Florentine dukes of Athens. Saint Philothea Venizela, 
who suffered martyrdom at the hands of Turkish Pashas 
in 1598, was of his family. There were branches of the 
Vemzeloi in Macedonia and Anatolia. His grandfather 
had emigrated to Crete from Crevata near Sparta, so his 
own father was bom a Spartan. Was not his family history 


typical of the history of the race? The beautiful old defini- 
tion of Greece — "Hellas is where there arc Hellenes" — 
must be kept in mind by the patriots of the critical period 
when the Slavic Balkan races were awakening to nation-^ 
hood and when Hamidian Turkey was skillfully using the 
rivalry and jealousy among the Great Powers to keep in 
slavery the subject peoples she could no longer hold down 
by her own military force and diplomacy alone. 

On a July day in 1886 Venizelos stood on the deck of a 
small steamer looking at the receding shores of redeemed 
Greece. His eyes were not star-gazing at the Acropolis, 
but were fixed upon the flutter of blue and white of flags 
in the harbor of the Piraeus. The next morning, as the ship 
came to anchor in Suda Bay, his thoughts were not of the 
home-coming, but of the red flag, hateful badge of slavery, 
that waved from forts and custom-house. He could show 
his law diploma, with the seal of the University of Athens, 
and it would be recognized as giving him the right to prac- 
tice in the courts of his native island. But nearly a 
quarter of a century was to pass before the boy of twenty- 
two could claim any privilege from the far more precious 
certificate which testified that he was a citizen of Greece. 
Through his father he was a free man: but through his 
mother and his birth in Crete he was an Ottoman subject. 
Abroad he could have enjoyed the honor and privileges of 
Greek citizenship. But he returned home, knowingly, 



WHEN the soldiers of Xenophon saw the sea, they 
realized that they were nearing the end of their 
long journey. It did not make much difference where they 
came out on the coast. Just the sight of salt water made 
them feel at home and secure. There was but one word 
in their joyous cry. " BdkarTa ! *' epitomizes the history of 
the Greek race. During thirty centuries the Hellenes have 
never wandered far from the sea. They are to-day where 
they have always been, in ports, on islands and peninsulas, 
on coast mountain-ranges, in the valleys not far from the 
mouths of rivers. The Gulf of Corinth makes the Pelopon- 
nesus abnost an island, and ^ves the states of Central 
Greece a seacoast. Boeotia is an isthmus and Attica a pen- 
insula. Eubcea is an island. When we study carefully the 
coast and mountain configuration of the Peloponnesus, of 
Macedonia, Thrace, and the iEgean coast of Asia Minor, 
we realize that the sea dominates the life of the Greeks on 
the mainland no less than on the islands. For you have a 
succession of gulfs and peninsulas. Almost all the islands 
are elongated and indented. 
From the beginning of history Crete has played an imr 


portant role in the life of the Hellenic race, and no nation 
that desired to be a maritime influence in the Near East 
could aflFord to be indiflFerent to Crete's political status. 
Crete stretches for one hundred and fifty miles across the 
exit from the iEgean to the Mediterranean. With Cythera 
and Anticythera on the west, and Cassos, Carpathos, and 
Rhodes on the east, Crete forms a bridge from Europe to 
Asia. On the north side, Suda Bay is a harbor without 
parallel in the Mediterranean. The owners of Crete have 
always been the predominant power in the iEgean. When 
they gained Crete, they could feel that their control of 
Constantinople and the Straits was assured. When they 
lost Crete, their power rapidly diminished in the iEgean 
coastlands and at Constantinople. This is why history re- 
peated itself in regard to Crete. The island was a prize 
worth striving for, and, once won, to be held to the last 
ditch. Several times the Cretans appealed to non-Hellenic 
races to free them from another foreigner's yoke. But each ^ 
successive liberator, for the sake of his own naval power 
and conunerdal supremacy, frowned upon, and did not 
hesitate to prevent by force, the union of the Hellenes of 
Europe and Asia through Crete. 

In conunon with other islands of the Eastern Mediter- 
ranean, when the scramble was on for the fragments of the 
Byzantine Empire, Crete became a shuttlecock between 
the battledores of Italian city republics, and then fell 


under Turkish rule. Unlike earlier invaders, since the days 
the Greeks themselves came, the Turks brought numerous 
immigrants in their train. The Turks were successful, 
however, neither in colonizing nor in seafaring. As on the 
iEgean coast of Asia Minor, they formed what was mis- 
called a Turkish element by conversion to Islam. Some 
of the weak were intimidated: some of the strong were 
tempted by the promise of inununity from confiscation of 
their lands. With a slight admixture of non-Turkish 
adventurers and families of officials and soldiers, these 
renegades became " the Turks " of Crete. In lai^ge majority 
the island remained Greek Christian. 

The Turks took peculiar pride in Crete from the fact 
that it was their last great conquest. In the Greek war of 
liberation, the Cretans joined in the general uprising and 
had every right to expect their emancipation. But the 
Sublime Porte, seeing the danger of losing Crete, handed 
the island over to Mohammed Ali in 1830 as a reward for 
Egyptian aid and as compensation for the ships destroyed 
at Navarino. When independent Greece was formed, the 
Powers, united in the policy of keeping the new kingdom 
weak, tolerated this subterfuge. The Cretans had endured 
all the sufferings of the war, but reaped none of its rewards. 
On the other hand, having been bom to Hellenic national 
consciousness in the decade of epic struggle, they could no 
longer be apathetic to their lot. The Powers knew this. 


In 1840, after they had intervened to save Turkey from 
Mohammed Ali's schemes of conquest, another opportu- 
nity presented itself to unite Crete with Gijeece. But they 
deliberately sacrificed Crete to their conmiercial rivalries 
and political jealousies, and allowed the island to revert 
to Turkey iji fee simple. 

Then followed an era of abortive insurrections. Hope- 
less and yet indomitable, the Cretans rebelled periodically. 
Had the country not been mountainous, they would have 
been exterminated by armies of Anatolian soldiers, whose 
orgies of cruelty and lust are better left undescribed. It 
is sufficient to say that the population decreased ftx>m one 
million to three hundred thousand. Refugees, escaping to 
the mainland, carried the story of their sufferings to the 
redeemed Greeks of the kingdom. 

No other propaganda was necessary to bring the Cretan 
question into the internal politics of the Greek kingdom 
and to make inevitable a life-and-death struggle between 
Greek and Turk that would in the end be decided only 
according to the Darwinian theory. Because of the Cretan 
insurrections Greece was to incur three hundred million 
francs of direct expenses, and fight an unsuccessful war 
with Turkey. Delyannes, precursor of Venizelos, realized 
that union with Greece was the only possible solution of 
the Cretan question. At the Congress of Berlin he asked 
for Thessaly to assure Greece food, but he asked also for 


Crete to assure Greece peace. As we read them today, 
the arguments of Delyannes bear witness to his clairvoy- 
ance. The Powers refused for the third time to sever the 
bonds between Turkey and Crete. Waddington alone 
espoused the cause of the subject race. The other states- 
men at Berlin agreed with the British contention that the 
integrity of the Ottoman Empire must be maintained. 
They decided that Crete must remain under Ottoman con- 
trol, subject to a reformed constitution called the Pact of 
Halepa, which provided a fairly good administration if a 
capable and sincere governor were chosen. But Crete was 
none the less still a Turkish vilayet (province). 

It was for the General Assembly, as provided for in the 
Pact of Halepa, that Venizelos announced his candidacy 
in the autumn of 1886. The two Christian political parties, 
Conservatives {J^wmiprrnKoC) and Liberals {fbCKe\£vd€poi\ 
almost invariably alluded to each other by contemptuous 
nicknames. To the Liberals the Conservatives were the 
KapafidvaSe^ (empty-headed), and to the Conservatives 
the Liberals were the Jt/TrrfXiyrot (barefooted). All Near- 
Eastern peoples are masters of invective. Epimides, a 
Cretan himself, maintained that all Cretans were liars. 
Challenging the veracity of friends and foes alike, I have 
discovered in my travels, seems to be a pan-Mediterra- 
nean habit. The atmosphere of intense personal bitter- 
ness in which the youthful graduate of Athens University 


found himself was probably enhanced by the hatred bom 
of oppression. Not only were Christians and Moslems 
implacable enemies, but among themselves the Christians 
showed no tolerance for the opinions of one another. Veni- 
zelos, chosen leader of the Liberals, was put to an imme- 
diate test. Strong-arm methods were the order of the 
day, and it was the custom of the majority to exclude the 
minority. The first and natural proposition, when the 
Assembly met, was to eliminate the seven or eight depu- 
ties of the Opposition. Venizelos met the test. In a dis- 
course that has remained famous^ he said: 

"A party should be foimded not merely on numbers, 
but on moral prindples, without which it can neither 
accomplish useful work nor inspire confidence.*' 

A new spirit was bom in Cretan politics. 

The hopelessness of the parliamentary situation and the 
state of anarchy throughout the island, willed and fostered 
by the Sublime Porte, gave Abdul Hamid the opportunity 
for which he had been waiting. Invoking the necessity of 
reestablishing order and protecting the Moslem minority, 
he sent an army of forty thousand to Crete in August, 1889. 
Making haste slowly, the Sultan allowed several months 
to elapse before taking the decisive step. The repression 
was gradual. Time was given to see whether European 
public opinion would force the hand of the chancelleries. 
When he felt sure that there would be no concerted action 


in favor of Crete on the part of the Powers and that the 
story of the repression was no longer news, Abdul Hamid 
send Admiral Ratib Pasha to publish and enforce a finnan 
(December 7, 1889) canceling the concessions granted to 
the Cretans by Article XXIII of the Treaty of Berlin. The 
Powers made only " representations ** at Constantinople. 

The firman was rigorously executed. As they could not 
count upon aid from Greece or from Europe, or upon the 
diversion and embarrassment of an insurrection in any 
other part of the Empire, there was nothing for the Cre- 
tans to do but to await developments. They had to con- 
tent themselves with the weapon of passive resistance. 
Venizelos advocated abstention from elections, and set the 
example by refusing to have anything to do Ivith a parlia- 
mentary assembly so long as the firman of 1889 was in 
force. All the Christians agreed to the election strike, and 
for five years there was no General Assembly. The Turk- 
ish authorities found this policy a difiicult one to combat. 
Administration became increasingly expensive, and reve- 
nues dwindled. The Moslem element had to suffer with 
the Christians in the paralysis of economic life, and be- 
came excited and nervous because of the constant menace 
of a new insurrection. One cannot sit indefinitely on the 
edge of a volcano and enjoy life. In June, 1894, Governor 
Mahmoud Djelaleddin Pasha narrowly escaped assassina- 
tion. He asked for his recall, and told the Sublime Porte 


frankly that the Cretan situation was hopeless unless a 
Christian governor was appointed. 

Mahmoud Djelaleddin Pasha was replaced by ELara- 
theodory Pasha, an Ottoman Greek, whose first act was 
to convoke the General Assembly in a proclamation that 
promised a liberal regime. In quick succession, Venizelos 
was called upon to make decisions that affected the whole 
course of his life and the future of Hellenism. Both times 
the temptation for a young man was peculiarly insidious. 
The five years of hopeless deadlock, which demonstrated 
the strength of Turkey and the determination of the 
Powers to do nothing to undermine that strength, were 
used as the potent argument to influence him. The first 
temptation was to cast in his fortunes with the Ottoman 
Empire. He was told that fame and wealth and power 
were his if he supported the new Christian governor, and 
devoted his talents to reconciling the Cretans to a national 
life within the Ottoman Empire. It was pointed out to 
him that a reasonable man must admit that any other 
course was against his own interests and against the inter- 
ests and well-being of his fellow-Cretans. The careers of 
Karatheodory Pasha and other Ottoman Christians were 
dted. How much more attractive and assured was the 
future for a statesman under the Ottoman aegis than in 
pinning his faith to puny, impotent, and strife-ridden 
Greece! Would Venizelos wreck his life for nothing? And 


from patriotic motives alone, the opportunity for serving 
his race was greater with Turkey than with Greece. Men 
like Karatheodory Pasha, who had common sense and 
accepted the inevitable, were the saviors of Hellenism. 
But Venizelos had no stomach for such an argument. He 
refused to become a creature of Yildiz Kiosk. 

The second temptation was to participate in a new 
revolution with an attainable objective. Karatheodory 
Pasha had failed to get the General Assembly together. 
Christians and Moslems could not agree. The Christian 
deputies refused to sit in an assembly that would sanction 
and cooperate in any other form of government than that 
provided for by the Pact of Halepa. It was futile to 
advance that Karatheodory Pasha would restore to the 
Cretans all the privileges provided for in Article XXIII 
of the Treaty of Berlin. Participating in the government 
of the island under these circumstances would mean a 
tacit abandonment of the international status of Crete 
and acceptance of the direct and unqualified sovereignty 
of the Sultan. Up to this point friends of Venizelos agreed 
with his policy. Refusal to recognize the good intentions 
of Karatheodory Pasha was wise. But why not strike 
while the iron was hot, capitalize the failure of the reap- 
pointment of a Christian governor and compel the inter- 
vention of the Powers to make Crete autonomous within 
the Ottoman Empire? 


This temptation was stronger than the first, and it 
cropped up over and over again during the next twenty 
years. On the surface, suzerainty seemed a reasonable 
alternative to sovereignty. The choice involved no degra- 
dation or dishonor, no betrayal of the inmiediate interests 
of Crete. On the other hand, by limiting the objective, 
the horror of a new Turkish invasion, with the invariable 
concomitant of massacre and pillage, might be avoided. 
For there was a semi-official intimation from a high Brit- 
ish source that the Foreign Ofiice would favor interven- 
tion, inmiediately after the insurrection broke out, to 
compel the Sublime Porte to grant complete autonomy 
to Crete. Moreover, many prominent Cretans then and 
later sincerely believed that autonomy, if properly safe- 
guarded by the Powers, would serve better the economic 
interests of Crete than union with Greece. Thrown into 
the balance also was the opinion of some Greeks of the 
kingdom that Greece was being threatened in her political 
stability and economic prosperity by the eternal propa- 
ganda and agitation of the annexionists. 

Had Venizelos been simply a Cretan politician or 
patriot, with only the thought of what was best for Crete 
in his mind, he would have yielded to the autonomists, if 
not in 1894, certainly during one of the crises of later 
years. We cannot understand the leadership and policy 
of Venizelos in Crete unless we appreciate the fact that 


from the beginning of his public life he thought in terms 
of Hellas and acted as a Hellene. 

On September i6, 1895, the autonomist revolution 
broke out. Venizelos believed that it was ill-timed and 
that, if the Powers did intervene, the movement would not 
serve the interests of the Greek race. Not only did he 
have the moral courage to accept the opprobrium of ab- 
staining from any part in the revolution, but he risked his 
prestige and leadership by declaring against it. He said 
he would fight for no cause but that of union with Greece. 
It was at this time that the Athens newspapers began to 
mention his name. He was spoken of as a politician of 
ability and as a "prominent lawyer." But his attitude 
puzzled those who were disposed to admire him. He was 
regarded as obstinate and unpractical, qualities diffi- 
cult to reconcile with his evident mental suppleness and 
the logical faculty that had already impressed itself upon 
all who had heard him argue cases in the Canea courts. 
Before events proved otherwise, Venizelos was a visionary, 
like Abraham Lincoln, with a penchant for butting his 
head against a stone wall. 

A new army was sent to Crete. Goaded to desperation, 
the revolutionaries succeeded in besieging the Turkish 
garrison at Vamos« Winter and the forbidding mountains 
enabled the Cretans to hold out. But in the spring rein- 
forcements arrived from Anatolia, and in the last week of 


May, 1895, the civilized world was shcxJced by the news of 
horrible massacres at Canea and all over the island. Troops 
fresh from Armenia knew how to do their work well. 

The Greek Government sent an appeal to the Powers, 
warning them that if something were not done to save the 
Cretans, the Greek people would force a declaration of war 
against Turkey. Thus the Eastern question would be 
reopened, and Heaven knew where it would lead to! The 
Armenians had no such potent argument. This was some* 
thing different from the quickly tided-over wrath of mass 
meetings ! The Powers sent warships to Crete. The orgy 
of blood-lust was suspended. Realizing that he was put- 
ting too great a strain, upon European diplomacy, Abdul 
Hamid called a halt. A firman of August, 1896, accorded 
autonomy to Crete "under the sovereignty of the Sultan." 

The new regime was intended to have only an ephem- 
eral existence. The German Drang nach Osteriy Anglo- 
Russian colonial rivalry in Asia, and Anglo-French colo- 
nial rivalry in Africa were beginning to affect seriously 
the harmony among the Powers; the Balkan States were 
pitted against one another because of Macedonia; and 
Russia and Austria-Hungary were playing an equivocal 
game. The Jameson Raid had precipitated a crisis for 
Great Britain in South Africa. Russian intervention in 
Korea and the scramble for concessions in China were 
diverting the attention of the Powers to the Far East. 


Fully informed by his Minister in Athens of the state of 
feeling in Greece, Abdul Hamid felt that the time had 
come to settle the Cretan issue. 

In January, i897» massacres began again at Canea and 
Rethymo. Venizelos was campaigning for the new elec- 
tions when he heard of the massacre. He returned and 
took conmiand of the insurgents, who had concentrated 
at Akrotiri, on the mountainous peninsula west of the 
city. Ready now to adopt his policy, the Cretans pro- 
claimed the union of their island with Greece. The Turks 
answered by burning the Christian quarters of Canea. 
The foreign consuls were compelled to take refuge aboard 
the warships in Suda Bay. 

There are times when a nation simply has to fight, come 
what may. So it was with Greece in 1897. On February 
10 Prince George was sent to Crete in conmiand of a flo- 
tilla of torpedo-boats. On February 13 two thousand 
Greek soldiers disembarked, and took possession of the 
island in the name of King George. 

Dismayed at the prospect of war between Greece and 
Turkey, the Powers unanimously agreed to preserve the 
peace of the Near East at the expense of the Cretans. 
They telegraphed Admiral Canevaro, in command of the 
international fleet, to disembark troops, prevent the 
Greeks and Turks from fighting, and use force to bring 
the insurgents to reason. The Greek flag was flying, in 


plain sight and within range of the warships, over the 
Akrotiri camp. On February 20 Venizelos was ordered by 
the admiral to lower the flag and disband his rebel force. 
He refused. The next morning the warships opened fire. 
The flag was struck down and raised again. Later, British 
and French troops were landed. When called upon to sur- 
render by the British Colonel Egerton, Venizelos replied : 

"We have acquired this position at the price of our 
blood, we have not been driven out by the shells of your 
warships, and death alone will force us to abandon it." 

Several attempts were made to convince Venizelos of 
the madness of playing a lone hand against the whole 
world. The consuls at Canea, who knew with whom they 
had to deal, told the military and naval oflUcers of the 
Powers that if they could persuade Venizelos, there would 
be no difficulty in ending the insurrection without fighting. 
And they realized, too, that once the insurgents retired 
into the interior, they could not be brought to book. The 
parleys were fruitless. 

A British naval officer, who held the usual preconceived 
opinion concerning the folly of subject races " stirring up 
things '' as his own ancestors had stirred them up, had an 
interview with "the brigand." He wrote home a letter in 
which his astonishment was frankly revealed. He had 
found Venizelos a quiet, reasonable young man, willing 
to come to an agreement with the Powers on their own 


terms, provided the Powers agreed to work out some modus 
Vivendi for Crete that would lead to freedom from Turkey 
and union with Greece. He was able to put himself in the 
place of the statesmen of the Powers, and see their diffi- 
culties in dealing with Turkey and appreciate their reasons 
for refusing the wishes of the Cretans; but he wanted these 
statesmen, on their side, to put themselvies in his place, 
and appreciate why the Cretans could not agree to sacrifice 
themselves and the Greek ideal for the good of European 
commerdal and political interests. 

'^ Your Foreign Office is in a tight place," he said to the 
British naval officer, ''and you can go as slow as you like 
with the Sublime Porte. Make a feint of coercing us if you 
feel you have to. I shall restrain my men. But it must be 
only a feint. If your soldiers and marines, for whatever 
reason, go beyond a certain line I shall indicate to you, we 
shall open fire. Then you will be up against a guerrilla war 
that will not pay, and that will not help you a bit with 
your diplomatic game at Constantinople." 

"Why do you not put yourselves in our hands? You 
know we have already freed Crete all except in name, and 
if you work with the Powers, your day will come more 
quickly than by forcing our hand and compelling us to 
oppose you," remonstrated the officer. 

The response of Venizelos is the history of the last him- 
dred years in the Near East. 


"European policy is invariably the maintenance of the 
status quOj and you will do nothing for the subject races 
unless we, by taking the initiative, make you realize that 
helping us against the Turks is the lesser of two evils." 

"Danm it all, the beggar is right!" wrote the British 
officer, " and I hope we shan't have to shoot him." 

So fervently shared was this hope by the consuls and 
naval officers that they advised their governments to re- 
frain from adopting an aggressive policy. The initial 
demonstrations against Greek troops and Cretan insur- 
gents were sufficient to show the Sublime Porte that the 
Powers were determined to maintain the union of Crete 
with Turkey and to warn Greece that she would stand 
alone in a war against the Ottoman Empire. Venizelos 
and his band stayed at Akrotiri, visited by European offi- 
cials and correspondents. The disembarkation of Euro- 
pean troops, in fact, was helpful to Venizelos. It kept his 
headquarters out of the radius of fighting with the Turks, 
which was being carried on in a desultory fashion in other 
parts of the island. The city of Canea, already sorely tried, 
did not have to suffer further atrocities because of the in- 
tractability of Venizelos. 

At the suggestion of Great Britain, the Powers decided 
to make Crete autonomous under the suzerainty of the 
Sultan. On March 2 they communicated this decision to 
Greece, declaring that Crete should not be annexed and 


giving the Greeks six days to recall troops and ships. The 
Athens Cabinet was powerless in face of the agitation of 
the pan-Hellenist committee, called "Ethniki Hetairia." 
Venizelos had now become influential enough to make his 
voice heard in the councils of the conmiittee. He did not 
advise against war with Turkey. On the contrary, by his 
defiance of the Powers at Akrotiri, he helped to make the 
war inevitable. 

Did Venizelos believe that Greece had a chance to win 
against Turkey? Did he think that the Powers would 
intervene before the first battle, renounce the blockade of 
Cretan ports decreed after Greece had refused to yield to 
the ultimatum of March 2, and decide to permit the union 
of Crete with Greece as the only means of keeping peace 
in the Near East? Did he count, as King George counted, 
upon the influence of the Russian royal family to modify 
the Russian foreign policy to the extent of making Crete 
an exception in the formal opposition of Russia to any 
further development of Hellenic unity? Venizelos has 
never answered these questions, and he has assured me 
that he has kept no notes or letters that would furnish the 
answer. The speeches of Venizelos are voluminous and 
contain frequent references to his past life. But the refer- 
ences are always for the purpose of illuminating or defend- 
ing a present policy. Of Akrotiri days he says simply that 
1897 was one of those critical moments when the voluntary 


compromising of a principle would have been more dis- 
astrous than failure to secure its triumph by holding out 
as long as was humanly possible. 

In 1897 Venizelos demanded no more of Greece than he 
demanded of himself. The ideal of Hellenic unity, like 
every other ideal, could be realized only if those who be- 
lieved in it were ready to sacrifice everything to attain it. 
Europe regarded the Greek war against Turkey as a mad 
and ridiculous enterprise. It was the same judgment that 
Europe passed upon Garibaldi's Roman expedition of 
1849. But as in Italy 1859 would not have been possible 
without 1849, so in Greece 19 12 would not have been pos- 
sible without 1897. When men prove that they are will- 
ing to give their lives for an ideal, to risk ignominy and 
failure, to pay the price without stint, then and only then 
is the ideal in a fair way of realization. 

Greece made a poor showing against Turkey. Her 
soldiers fought well, but her officers were ineflScient. Of 
staff work there was none, and the failure of the service 
of supplies to function showed how unready Greece was 
to fight any enemy. The navy had no anununition. With- 
out the intervention of the Powers, Greece would have 
been lost. 

The troubles of Venizelos began before the impotence 
of Greece had been demonstrated. Despite the brave show- 
ing of the Akrotiri insurgents, Venizelos found, even before 


Greece declared war on Turkey, that he could not count 
upon his fellow-Cretans. As the insurrection spread, it 
met with ill-disguised hostility. The bulk of the Cretans 
were sick of the incessant revolutions. Turkish regulars 
and irregulars were massacring and burning once more. 
Enemies of Venizelos carried on a propaganda against his 
candidates. They spread the news that the insurgents of 
Akrotiri were being attacked by the troops of the Great 
Powers simply because Venizelos had refused to accept 
less than a recognition of the union of Crete with Greece. 
Then the story began to filter in, exaggerated from the 
beginning, of the Greek reverses in Thessaly. Why an- 
other hopeless struggle when there was an alternative that 
promised well? 

Venizelos was elected president of the Revolutionary 
Assembly, but when he arrived at Arhanes, fifteen miles 
from Canea, where the Assembly was sitting, he found a 
body of discouraged men who had had enough and who 
felt that Cretan public opinion was solidly behind them. 
At the first session after his arrival, a resolution was intro- 
duced moving that the Assembly enter into negotiations 
with the Powers on the basis of autonomy. The call for a 
vote was insistent and threatening. Although he knew 
that only sixteen of his partisans were in the room, Veni- 
zelos did not hesitate to protest. He began to speak, call- 
ing attention to the fact that the unfortunate war was 


being fought by Greece for Crete, and declaring that he 
and his companions of Akrotiri refused to become traitors 
and abandon Greece. The discussion became a riot. A 
deputy rushed upon Venizelos with a knife. Venizelos did 
not flinch. He stood impassive by the table awaiting the 
blow, which would have fallen had not a man in the front 
row tripped up the would-be assassin. The session ended 
in confusion. 

Friends of Venizelos came to him that night and warned 
him that his death had been decided upon. They begged 
him to yield and to allow them to assure the plotters that 
on the morrow Venizelos would no longer oppose the end 
of the revolution. 

Venizelos thought that his own honor and the future of 
Hellas were more precious than the question of personal 
security. When his visitors advanced the argument of 
expediency, he pointed out to them that it was impossible 
for one who had given the Greeks of the mainland the 
example and encouragement of the Akrotiri incident to 
yield to expediency now. One of the visitors then chal- 
lenged Venizelos to assert that he himself still believed in 
the possibility of putting through the unionist policy. 
Venizelos answered that this was not the question at issue. 
He admitted the failure of their hopes, but he contended 
that it was vital that the overture for compromise should 
come from the Athens Government and not from the 


Cretans. By this time the howling crowd outside had set 
fire to the house. Thrusting aside loyal followers who 
would have formed a bodyguard, Venizelos faced his 
assailants. He called them traitors to Hellas and un- 
worthy of liberty. In sharp relief against the flames he 
stood there, ready for martyrdom. Uncertain of the effect 
of his words upon the others, none raised a hand. Veni- 
zelos passed through their midst, and when the sun rose, 
he was back at Akrotiri, looking down upon the warships 
at anchor in Suda Bay. 

The tragic end of the war with Turkey was apparent. 
Although he felt that it was possible to keep the Powers in 
an embarrassed and equivocal position in Crete, Venizelos 
realized the inadvisability of provoking the chancelleries 
too far. The intervention of the Powers was the only hope 
for Greece. So Venizelos went to Athens to negotiate with 
the Government. What should be the policy of the insur- 
gents of Akrotiri? Up to this point, putting Hellas ahead 
of Crete, they had remained intractable. In view of the 
misfortunes of the kingdom and the impending disaster, 
had not the time come to compromise? Stubbornness is a 
powerful weapon only when used intelligently. For one 
to say that he will die rather than yield is strength at one 
moment : at another moment it is weakness. A large part 
of genius in htunan leadership is in knowing when and how 
far to compromise. 


At Athens, Venizelos tcx)k counsel with Sfakianakis, a 
retired Cretan politician who enjoyed the respect of the 
islanders. After coming to an agreement on the probable 
course of negotiations for peace and what should be the 
policy of the Cretan insurgents, Venizelos and Sfakianakis 
conferred with the Greek Cabinet and the Ministers of the 
Powers. Venizelos made it clear that he and his followers 
would not abandon of their own initiative the demand for 
union with Greece. Nor would they admit that they had 
to yield to force majeure j applied by Turkey and the Pow- 
ers. But they recognized the fact that Greece had with- 
drawn her troops from Crete and had made the renuncia- 
tion to her claim to Crete a condition of her plea for the 
mediation of the Powers. Consequently, not wishing to 
embarrass Greece in the negotiations for peace and recog- 
nizing the generous aid of the Powers to Greece, the insur- 
gents were ready to accept autonomy. But they asked 
that the Powers formally guarantee this autonomy under 
a governor appointed by the Powers. And they stipulated 
that the withdrawal of the Turkish garrisons should pr>> 
cede the abandonment of the insurgent movement. 

The Powers failed to agree with Turkey or among them- 
selves. Although the Turco-Greek Treaty was signed at 
Constantinople on December 4, 1897, little progress was 
made in establishing a new status for Crete. Turkey in- 
sisted upon the maintenance of the Ottoman garrisons on 


the island, and upon naming an Ottoman Christian func- 
tionary as governor. This was just what Venizelos feared. 
He knew that if the Cretans had put themselves in the 
hands of the Powers, had tamely withdrawn from Akro- 
tiri, and had disbanded the Revolutionary Assembly, the 
necessary safeguards to autonomous existence would have 
been waived one after the other in the negotiations at 
Constantinople. In dealing with the Powers, he displayed 
a genius for conciliation tempered with firmness, which is 
the statesman's greatest asset. He was able to oppose the 
dilatory and temporizing tactics of European diplomacy 
without coming to an open rupture. He managed to hold 
in check his own followers, over whom his personal author- 
ity was constantly being tested. The Powers, to prove to 
Turkey their good faith and their control of the situation, 
increased their zones of occupation. 

Over the Convent of Arkadi, far beyond the reach of the 
guns of the warships, Venizelos hoisted the autonomous 
flag, which he made very similar to that of Greece. Then, 
to bear witness to his faith in the good intentions of the 
Powers, he decided to make Akrotiri, where they could 
get at him, the seat of the Revolutionary Assembly. With 
negotiations between the Powers and Turkey still pending 
at Constantinople, he succeeded in getting his Revolu- 
tionary Assembly recognized by the Powers, who were 
weary of the responsibility of police duty and were ready 


tx) accept almost anything that oflFered the promise of a 
stable government. 

This gave Venizelos his great opportunity. He consti- 
tuted an executive commission, with Sfakianakis as presi- 
dent. Despite the international occupation and the pres- 
ence of the Turks at Candia, the Provisional Government 
gave a demonstration of its efficiency. Venizelos could 
now point to the ability of the Cretans to manage their 
own affairs. The time had come for the simultaneous with- 
drawal of the Powers and Turkey. The Powers demanded 
nothing better. Germany and Austria-Hungary declared 
their intention of washing their hands of the whole Cretan 
business. But Turkey would not withdraw her troops, and 
persisted in her claim to appoint a governor. Venizelos 
warned the Powers that Christians and Moslems could 
not work together in a parliamentary system so long as 
there was a Turkish garrison in Crete, and that a governor 
appointed by the Sublime Porte would have it in his power 
to prevent the harmonious development of an autonomous 

The Powers had three choices : an indefinite occupation 
of Crete; withdrawal, with the certainty that Cretans and 
Turks would fight again as soon as they left; or forcing 
Turkey to accept the conditions of Venizelos. All three 
had serious " inconveniences,*' to use the language of the 
diplomats. The impasse was broken by a Moslem attack 


upon Bridsh troops and Christians at Candia on Sq>tem- 
ber 6. The British Vice-Consul and several British sol- 
diers were killed. When foreigners are massacred, Near- 
Eastern problems always appear in a different light. Tur- 
key was compelled to withdraw her troops on November 
12. Russia, Great Britain, France, and Italy decided to 
make themselves guarantors of the autonomy of Crete, 
In exchange for the privilege of naming the governor, they 
promised the Sublime Porte to maintain Ottoman suze- 
rainty and to assure the rights of the Moslem minority. 

The Russian Government was afraid of a British scheme 
to get control of Crete. The thought of Suda Bay as the 
naval base of a rival had all along been in the minds of the 
statesmen of the Powers. Russia proposed Prince George 
of Greece as High Commissioner of the Powers in Crete. 
France seconded the nomination. It seemed the best solu- 
tion. But if the Powers had at that time any intention of 
"preserving the rights of Turkey," they blundered badly. 
To call the son of the King of Greece to the chief magistracy 
of an island which had so long aspired to political union 
with Greece was, in the eyes of all Hellenes, a direct encour- 
agement to their aspirations. How could they think other- 
wise? The Moslem Cretans, too, regarded this step as the 
end of Ottoman sovereignty, for they emigrated in so 
great a number that the Moslem population was soon re- 
duced to the proportion of one in ten. 


Venizelos and his followers considered the new regime 
as purely transitional. This fact must be borne in mind if 
we are to judge fairly the role of Venizelos during the last 
decade of his service to Hellas in Crete. One cannot read 
contemporary accounts of Cretan politics from 1899 to 
1909 without realizing that up to the very end of his career 
as a Cretan leader Venizelos was regarded as unreasonable 
and erratic. Even by those who admired him most he was 
called a gambler. In the European chancelleries he was 
looked upon as a dangerous mischief-maker. The High 
Conmiissioner and his satellites hated him. The Church 
denounced him and then excommunicated him. The 
respectable elements of the conmiunity (invariably, as a 
class, for the maintenance of the status quOj whatever it 
may be) called him unsafe. Newspaper reporters, while 
often paying tribute to his high quality, gave the impres- 
sion in their dispatches from Crete that the dashing and 
picturesque brigand was a sort of a Don Quixote. 

Venizelos has himself described his life in Crete and the 
reason he was compelled to lead it as he did, in a few brief 
sentences. Speaking to the representatives of the foreign 
press at a banquet we gave in his honor at the Peace 
Conference in 1919, Venizelos told us: 

"After I finished my studies at Athens, I returned home 
and hung out my shingle. I had not tried many cases in 
the courts of my home island before it became necessary 


for me tx) take arms against the Turkish Government, 
Although my father was bom in Greece, I was considered 
an Ottoman subject — therefore a rebel — because my 
mother was bom under the Turkish flag. At the end of 
this revolution, I returned again to my town and resumed 
my legal profession, I did not have time, however, to go 
far with it; for I had to take arms again and go to the 
mountains. Soon I reached the point where I had to decide 
whether I ought to be a lawyer by profession and a revolu- 
tionary at intervals, or a revolutionary by profession and 
a lawyer at intervals. Since my compatriots met with 
opposition in their efforts to bring about the complete 
union of Crete with Mother Greece, I naturally became a 
revolutionary by profession." 

If Venizelos had in mind anything less than "efforts to 
bring about the complete union of Crete with Mother 
Greece,'* his actions would indeed be inexplicable after the 
inauguration of the autonomous administration. But had 
he not told the Powers, in the name of the insurgents of 
Akrotiri, that the Cretans did not abandon the hope of 
union with Greece and regarded the solution of 1898 as 
purely temporary? Venizelos, then, cannot be accused of 
bad faith, of unreasonableness, of disloyalty to Prince 
George because he kept the goal steadily before him, and 
refused to be diverted from it himself or to allow Crete to 
be diverted from it. Of course he did exhibit the spirit of 
a frondeur. No one gets very far in this life who is afraid 
to make a row when he sees what he wants slipping from 
his grasp. 


Venizelos accepted a post in the High Commissioner's 
government, with the intention of doing everything in his 
# power to make a success of the autonomous administra- 
tion. The proof of this is the splendid judicial system with 
which he endowed Crete, and the sound advice he gave 
Prince George, out of his rich experience, concerning the 
organization of a gendarmery. What encouraged the 
Powers most and what they commended Prince George 
for most was the smooth internal reorganization of the 
courts and police system of Crete, for which Venizelos was 
responsible. But when Prince George began to regard 
Crete as a fief — a principality created for him to rule over 
— he found that Venizelos was as ready to rebel against 
him as against Turkey and the Powers. For Venizelos the 
enemy of Hellas, to be opposed by force of arms, was who- 
ever worked to prevent the redemption and union of 

When Venizelos was overridden and dismissed from office 
by Prince George, he retired quietly to Canea, and took 
up again the practice of law. As the years passed, he kept 
his party together and strengthened and increased it, 
never missing an occasion to have the Cretans reiterate 
their determination to be united to Greece. In the mean- 
time Prince George was becoming enamoured of his job. 
He answered the call of his Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg- 
Gliicksburg and Romanoff blood. He called friends from 


Athens and elsewhere to fill the best posts in the adminis- 
tration, denied the dependence of his government upon 
Parliament, and schemed to assure his virtual dictatorship 
by disarming the dangerous elements in the population 
(mostly Venizelists !) and by making the foreign gen- 
darmery answerable only to himself. 

This usurpation of power was gradual, and it can be 
argued that at the beginning it was well-nigh necessary 
for any governor who had decided to get along without 
the cooperation of the Venizelist party. It was not without 
its compensations. Above all things Crete needed a period 
of rest and of recuperation. Venizelos agreed with the 
High Conmiissioner that the political evolution must not 
be forced, and that absolute liberty could not follow im- 
mediately a dictatorial regime. The good offices of the 
Powers were needed in arranging relations with Turkey. 
It was not until August, 1901, that the Cretan Govern- 
ment was able to sign a convention with delegates of the 
Ottoman Public Debt, by which the latter renounced its 
rights and privileges in the island in return for a fixed 
annual payment and the concession of the salt monopoly 
for twenty years. In November, 1901, the Sublime Porte 
agreed to recognize the Cretan flag and Cretan passports 
and to hand over to the Cretan Government Cretans sen- 
tenced in Turkey for political and conunon law offenses. 
A fiscal system had to be worked out. There was much 


to be accomplished in establishing the machinery for local 
administration and law courts, and in adjusting the new 
relations between Moslems and Christians. 

The growihg autocracy, discrimination against Cretans 
in appointments, and the persecution of Venizelists were 
tolerated. Venizelos confined his opposition and agitation 
to combating the idea that the autonomous regime should 
be regarded as a permanent status for Crete. It was over 
this question, which involved a betrayal of the Hellenic 
ideal, that Venizelos came into conflict with Prince George. 

In November, 1900, Prince George made a tour of the 
chief European courts ostensibly in behalf of the union of 
Crete with Greece. He returned with the conviction that 
his bread was best buttered on the side of autonomy. He 
wanted the mandate, which had been for three years, re- 
newed by the Powers, and was ready to accept the condi- 
tions laid down by European statesmen. It was much 
better fun to have one's own principality than to be a 
second son at Athens. At the opening session of the Cre- 
tan Assembly, on May 31, 1901, Prince George told the 
deputies that the Powers declined under the present cir- 
cumstances to sanction the union with Greece, and wanted 
the Prince to stay on for three years longer as High Com- 
missioner. The Assembly, ninety per cent of whose mem- 
bers belonged to the Opposition, answered by passing a 
resolution in favor of union with Greece. The Powers 


answered that they did not consider that there was any 
ground for a change, that infringement of the rights of the 
Sultan "might seriously endanger the peace of the Near 
East by subjecting Greece once more to the hostility of 
Turkey," and that Crete was better off as regarded taxa- 
tion and simplicity of administration than if the island 
were incorporated with Greece. 

During the second term of Prince George, Venizelos 
confined himself to Parliamentary opposition to the per- 
sonal rule of Prince George. He counted upon the growing 
despotism and ineflSciency to discredit Prince George in 
the eyes of the people. But he thought that an active and 
rireless propaganda of education should be carried on to 
instill into the minds of the people that political freedom 
and economic prosperity were possible for Crete only 
through union with Greece. The test came in the elections 
of 1904, in the spring before the expiration of the second 
term of the Prince's mandate. By this time the Prince 
had the courts, the press, and the Church well in hand. 
With the help of a close friend, Eliakis (governor of West- 
em Macedonia in 1919), Venizelos started a newspaper, 
which he wrote from beginning to end. 

Venizelos wielded a powerful pen After a few issues 
had appeared, Venizelos and Eliakis were haled into 
court. The charge was an article Venizelos had written 
against the policy of the Government, which Prince 


George declared was subversive. The paper was sus- 
pended for three months, and the writer condemned to 
imprisonment and a fine of two thousand drachmai. 
Eliakis insisted that he was responsible and that the sen- 
tence be passed on him as publisher. When Venizelos de- 
murred, Eliakis convinced him that he should remain free 
to cany on the campaign. But later, when Eliakis was 
arrested a second time for an article of Venizelos, Venizelos 
wrote a letter to the court in which he assimied responsi- 
bility for everything in the paper. Despite the protests of 
Eliakis, Venizelos shouldered the verdict. He went to 
prison for eWe^ 4 ^ Y ^- The first charge, for which Eliakis 
suffered, was virtually that of lese-majesti. The second in- 
dictment, on which Venizelos was convicted, was having 
written an article criticizing the activities of the Arch- 
bishop of Crete. At the instance of the Prince, the Arch- 
bishop made a tour of Crete, urging from the pulpit a vote 
in favor of the son of the King and against the revolution- 
ists. To give weight to his plea, the Archbishop formally 
anathematized Venizelos. Venizelos called the electoral 
tour of the Archbishop a sacrilege, and wrote that it was 
sad to see the head of the Church degrading himself! 

In August, 1904, delegates from all the provinces pre- 
sented a petition to Prince George, asking him " to make 
known to the Protecting Powers the firm resolution of 
Crete to be united to Greece.*' As his mandate was again 


expiring, Prince George made a second official trip to 
Europe. He returned, confirmed once more in the High 
Commissionership, but rebuffed in the demand for the 
union of Crete with Greece. The annexionists charged 
that he had been lukewarm in representing their wishes, 
and had sacrificed Crete to his personal ambition. The 
Powers then published a joint declaration of their in- 
tention to maintain the existing status, and refused to 
withdraw the international forces whose presence since 
1897 had become intolerable to the Cretans. By this time 
Prince George had come to be regarded as a foreign tyrant, 
caring for the interests neither of Crete nor of Greece, and 
relying upon the international army of occupation to 
prevent and denature the development of Cretan self- 
government and economic prosperity. The questions at 
issue with Turkey had been settled only on paper. 

On March 23, 1905, six hundred Insurgents established 
themselves at Therisso, in the mountains three miles from 
Canea, ignored the proclamation of Prince George to dis- 
band, and repulsed the gendarmery sent against them. 
Convinced that a show of force was once more necessary, 
Venizelos joined the insurgents, and organized a Pro- 
visional National Assembly at Therisso. Through the 
consuls of the Powers of Canea, Venizelos sent a note to 
the Powers, stating that the Cretans felt it necessary to 
anticipate the election of April 2, in which the Govern- 


ment had made elaborate arrangements to interfere. He 
contended that a fair election was impossible, and that an 
overwhelming majority of the Cretans stood behind the 
Therisso movement. The Powers were begged to protect 
no longer the government of Prince George. 

The unionist movements spread over the whole island. 
On April 20 the Venizelist Assembly, in which every ham- 
let was represented, proclaimed the whole of Crete " indis- 
solubly united to her mother Greece under the scepter of 
Ring George I.'* The powers ignored this action, ordered 
the Greek flags which had been hoisted to be hauled down, 
and threatened repressive military measures. In a letter to 
the consuls the insurgents pledged themselves not to re- 
sist the forces of the Powers. They stated that their only 
motive in taking up arms was to defend themselves 
against the oppressive measures of the Government and to 
vindicate the right of public meeting which had been un- 
constitutionally suppressed. The reply of the Powers was 
that the reforms demanded would be made, but that the 
insurgents must surrender first. Venizelos felt that the 
British were sincere, not only in the promises of financial 
and administrative reforms, but also in intimating that 
British diplomacy was ready to help to consimunate the 
union of Crete with Greece. Had there been only one 
Power to deal with, and that Power Great Britain, the 
events of the smnmer of 1905 might not have taken place. 


Unfortunately Venizelos had a coalition to deal with, each 
of whose members suspected the motives of the others. 
Unable to get collective tan^ble guarantees from the con- 
suls at Canea or reasonable assurances from the Ministers 
of the four Protecting Powers at Athens, Venizelos felt 
that the insurgent movement must continue. This deci- 
sion required extraordinary courage. For, as in 1897, 
many of the Cretan leaders were wavering and apprehen- 
sive, and he risked repudiation by the National Assembly. 
The Therisso revolution led to bloodshed. On June 30 
there was a serious encounter at Platania between the in- 
surgents and Russian troops, supported by Russian and 
French warships, and on August 16 a second fight with the 
Russians near Rethymo. The insurgents were compelled to 
withdraw into the mountain strongholds. Without am- 
munition and equipment and without adequate food sup- 
plies, Venizelos realized that his movement would col- 
lapse when winter came. But after the Rethymo affair, 
while making successful efforts to prevent the Cretan cause 
from suffering further by unfortunate collisions with in- 
ternational troops, he judged it still opportune to hamper 
the Europeans as much as possible. He wanted them to 
realize that the pacification of Crete threatened to become 
a gigantic and perilous task. He was anxious to gain time. 
Perhaps the Protecting Powers would come to think that 
the game was not worth the candle and put no further ob- 


stacles in the way of the union of Crete with Greece. Per- 
haps the newly formed Entente Cordiale would bring 
Great Britain and Russia closer together through France. 
Most important consideration of all, Venizelos hoped to 
restore the Greek Government to the privileged position 
it had enjoyed, in the international aspects of the Cretan 
question, before the war of 1897. 

Venizelos had not been idle since 1899. He had been 
studying carefully the international political situation and 
had kept abreast of all the changes. He was becoming 
skilled in the methods of diplomacy, and knew how to de- 
tect the combinazione of others and how to make his own. 
He had been a Garibaldi. Now he must be also a Cavour. 
The Greek Premier, acting on the advice of the Cretan 
leader, sent a note to the Protecting Powers, recommending 
the union of Crete with Greece. He acknowledged this 
move in a cleverly worded statement, impeccable in form 
and substance. Although the Greek Government agreed 
with the insurgents as to the best solution of the Cretan 
question, Greece refused to participate in any action 
against the Powers and advised the insurgent leaders to 
seek reforms by peaceable means. 

Venizelos sent more than a hundred confidential com- 
mxmications to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He 
put the revolutionary movement officially on record as not 
being antidynastic, as not being directed against the per- 


son of Prince George, as not seeking to undermine the au- 
thority and prestige of the Protecting Powers, as not in- 
tending to involve either the Greek Government or the 
Protecting Powers in difficulties with Turkey. These 
documents showed the revolutionaries not as desperate 
rebels, seeking to overthrow constituted authority for par- 
tisan ends, or as unreasonable visionaries crying for the 
moon. The revolutionaries had a constructive programme. 
Far from being anarchists, they stood between Crete and 
anarchy. Only by availing themselves of the services of 
Venizelos and his friends could the Powers hope to extri- 
cate themselves from the mess they were in. But the revo- 
lutionaries had taken a solemn oath to work for union with 
the mother country. They were willing to support the 
present High Commissioner until the realization of that 
union, but if events independent of their will brought 
about the withdrawal of Prince George, they bound them- 
selves to oppose the nomination of a foreign High Com- 
missioner, and to accept only a Greek statesman chosen 
from among the former premiers. Venizelos of course 
knew that these documents were read en route by the 
representatives of the Powers. He wrote them with that 
in view. Thus was the rebel of Therisso able to converse 
indirectly with statesmen who were seeking some graceful 
way of dropping a hot poker. 
Confident that the seed had been properly planted. 


Venizelos and his companions negotiated with the cx>nsuls, 
and surrendered on November 19, 1905. Venizelos had 
not guessed wrong. Very soon after he returned to his law 
books in Canea, a commission appointed by the Powers 
came to inquire into the causes of general discontent. 
First indirectly and then directly, they consulted Venize- 
los. He discussed reforms with them, but impressed upon 
them the impossibility of any other permanent solution of 
the Cretan question than union with Greece. Any transi- 
tional regime, decided upon with this end in view, would 
have his support. Venizelos pointed out that Prince 
George would not be content to remain as High Commis- 
sioner, shorn of his privileges, and that when the time 
came to appoint a new High Commissioner, the Protecting 
Powers would have to take a definite stand on the question 
of the ultimate union with Greece. 

Prince George left Crete on September 25, 1906. In a 
farewell proclamation he urged peace and confidence in his 
successor " in order to obtain the surest and speediest ful- 
fillment of the national wishes." It was a bitter moment 
for Prince George. He accepted defeat. But he was un- 
willing to admit that patriotism, and not personal animos- 
ity, had inspired the conduct of the man whom he blamed 
for his failure. 

The Powers seemed to have decided to accept the ulti- 
matum contained in the oath of the revolutionaries of 


Therisso. Vemzelos himself might have penned the letter 
they sent to the King of Greece, asking him to appoint a 
successor to his son. It read : 

"The Protecting Powers, in order to manifest their 
desire to take into account as far as possible the aspirations 
of the Cretan people, and to recognize in a practical man- 
ner the interest which His Hellenic Majesty must always 
take in the prosperity of Crete, are in accord to propose 
to His Majesty that hereafter, whenever the post of High 
Commissioner of Crete shall become vacant. His Majesty, 
after confidential consultations with the representatives 
of the Powers at Athens, will designate a candidate capa- 
ble of exercising the mandate of the Powers in this island/' 

When the note was published, coupled with it was the 
announcement that King George had nominated Zaimis, a 
former premier of Greece, and that the Powers had ap- 
pointed Zaimis to the High Commissionership. His pow- 
ers were to be virtually those of a Greece viceroy " in order 
to prepare the island for definite incorporation with 

Turkey naturally protested against the change in the 
status quo which such a step implied, and pointed out that 
it was a virtual destruction even of the suzerainty of the 
Sultan. But the situation was far different from that of 
1897. Then Greece had acted on her own initiative. In 
1906 the close connection of the Greek Government with 
Cretan affairs was due to the invitation of four great Pow- 


crs, Abdul Hamid could not then threaten Greece. Nor 
was he able to divide the Powers. France and Great Brit- 
ain had compounded their colonial rivalry. Great Britain 
and Russia were negotiating an agreement. Neither Italy 
nor Russia would be loath to find a pretext for picking a 
quarrel with Turkey. Germany was passing through a 
great internal electoral crisis. The Sublime Porte had to be 
content with the assurance that her "rights" would be 
"safeguarded," whatever that expression might mean, 
and the promise that the international troops would re- 
main in Crete until the Powers were satisfied that the 
Moslem minority was going to receive a square deal. 

Turkish suzerainty was hereafter to be symbolized by 
a cast-iron Ottoman flag planted on an island in Suda Bay. 



I BECAME a revolutionary by profession and a lawyer 
at intervals," said Venizelos, explaining his life in 
Crete. Akrotiri and Therisso had ended in surrender. If 
we were to judge the "professional" record of Venizelos on 
the basis of a bald chronological table of the revolutionary 
events during the twenty years between his graduation 
from the University of Athens and the departure of Prince 
George from Crete, we might be tempted to believe that 
the revolutionary by profession would have done better to 
stick to law. The Cretans had suffered terribly without 
winning their goal. Greece had been through the ordeal of 
an unsuccessful war, entailing the loss of frontier passes, an 
indemnity, and European control of her finances. The 
Protecting Powers, despite the concessions they had made, 
were indisposed toward the Cretans, and were afraid to 
withdraw the international troops. Partisans of Prince 
George provoked a disorderly scene in the Assembly, on 
the eve of the departure of the Prince, and indulged in 
armed demonstrations in several cities against the Powers 
and the Venizelists alike. 
On the other hand, Venizelos, while he might well be 


dismayed by the responsibilities ahead of him, had reason 
to be satisfied with the changes of twenty years. Ottoman 
garrisons and Ottoman governors had gone for good. 
Four great Powers were guaranteeing the autonomy of 
Crete. Their High Commissioner was to be a Greek, 
nominated by the Greek Government. The Powers ad- 
mitted in principle that Crete would eventually be united 
with Greece and were no longer going to be instigated by 
the Sublime Porte to put obstacles in the way of union. It 
was understood that the maintenance of the international 
occupation was to protect the Moslem minority in its judi- 
cial and political rights until the Powers were satisfied 
with the fair and smooth working of the Cretan judicial 
and parliamentary institutions. 

Veilizelos was now definitely and irrevocably in public 
life. He had already sacrificed his private means and his 
professional career. When a man has passed his fortieth 
birthday, and has not settled down, in the bourgeois sense 
of that expression, he has not much hope of making his 
living and prospering as an ordinary, everyday member of 
the community in which he lives. When Venizelos went to 
Therisso in 1905, he burned his bridges behind him. Canea 
would see him no more as a private citizen. Having be- 
come identified with the national cause as its leader, his 
future was in politics. 

High Commissioner Zaimis arrived in Crete on October 


14, 1906, and was received with enthusiasm. But he had 
not accepted the High Commissionership with the inten- 
tion of directing the destinies of Crete. His ambitions as a 
statesman had been satisfied in Athens. He knew that ad- 
ministering Crete was all risk and no profit for an outsider. 
He felt also that if there was anything that he could do, it 
could be done to better advantage in Athens and in the 
capitals of the Protecting Powers. He had confidence in 
the ability of Venizelos to organize and administer the 
island during a transitional period which Greeks and Cre- 
tans now felt would be brief. So Zaimis announced that 
he was going to devote himself to diplomatic activity in 
Europe. As soon as a cabinet was formed, with Venizelos 
as Premier, High Commissioner Zaimis left Crete. 

For two years Venizelos was given an opportunity to 
prove his ability as a constructive statesman. He had to 
face bitter political opposition, to keep his own followers 
from trampling on the rights of Moslem Cretans, and to 

settle the constant petty but delicate and annoying ques- 
tions arising from the presence of the international troops. 
It was no bed of roses. But on the whole Venizelos en- 
joyed a free hand and was able to make the most of the 
period of comparative tranquillity. He lived in three 
small rooms, kept only one servant, and applied himself 
tirelessly to the tasks of government. 
Everything went so well that Crete was forgotten. The 


island disappeared from the newspapers. Even the Athens 
and Cbnstantinople press stopped mentioning Crete. I 
have searched newspaper files in vain for Cretan news of 

1907. When I questioned Venizelos recently about 1907 
and the early part of 1908, he told me that one's own mem- 
ory yields little concerning years when everything went 
well. " I was simply preparing for union with Greece," he 
said. "With the knowledge of the Powers I made the gen- 
darmery, the judicial and fiscal systems, the administra- 
tion, to conform as nearly as possible with Greek institu- 
tions. I had in mind to avoid another transitional period." 

In the sxmmier of 1908, out of a dear sky, came the 
event that was to plunge the world into a decade of politi- 
cal unrest, nefarious diplomacy, and wars. On July 25, 

1908, the world was electrified by the news that Turkey 
had become overnight a constitutional monarchy. In a 
bloodless revolution the Young Turks, who had long been 
planning their coupy forced Abdul Hamid to revive the 
constitution which he had granted the Ottoman Empire 
more than thirty years before at the beginning of his 
reign, and which he had almost immediately suppressed. 
The Near-Eastern question was revived in all its acuity. 

The programme of the Young Turks was disconcerting 
in its implications: for it challenged the half-measures of 
the Powers in their dealings with the Ottoman Empire, 
upset the formulae of the Congress of Berlin and later 


decisions of the Powers, and menaced the security of the 
former subjects of the Sultan whose clear title to inde- 
pendence had been denied for the sake of maintaining the 
integrity of the Ottoman Empire. The Young Turks an- 
nounced that the revolution had been undertaken for the 
purpose of saving the Ottoman Empire from dismember- 
ment. Their thesis was simple and alluring. Since the 
constitution made no distinction between Christian and 
Moslem, hereafter all Ottoman subjects would enjoy 
equal rights, privileges, and responsibilities. As Turkey 
now had a government like that of European countries, 
there was no longer reason for interference of the Powers 
with her internal affairs. The capitulations, under which 
foreigners enjoyed special privileges in Turkey, had been 
sanctioned by the disparity between Turkish laws and cus- 
toms and those of other countries. Having no longer a 
raison d^etrey they must disappear. As Turkey was now 
endowed with a constitutional regime, the justification for 
autonomy and other safeguards for subject races ceased to 
exist. The Young Turks demanded the reintegration pure 
and simple in the new and regenerated Ottoman Empire 
of all the territories to which the Sultan still held title. 

The European diplomats were agreed that the capitula- 
tions should remain in force. If any sacrifices were to be 
made to the Young Turks, they would be, of course, at the 
expense of the races of the Near East. But, since the Pow- 


ers were uncertain as to how the disappearance of the old 
regime was going to affect their influence at Constanti- 
nople and each had in mind concessions and privileges 
present and future, concerted action was impossible. 
European and American liberal public opinion was de- 
cidedly sympathetic to the Young Turks. Their sincerity 
was not questioned. Their ability to put into force a genu- 
ine constitutional regime was taken for granted. If so, why 

was not their thesis reasonable ? 


Realizing the crisis that would confront them and dis- 
counting both approval and protest on the part of the 
Great Powers, the countries whose titles were contested 
anticipated the Young Turks. On October 5 Prince Ferdi- 
nand declared the independence of Bulgaria and assimied 
the rank of Czar; on October 7 Emperor Franz-Josef an- 
nexed Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria-Hungary; on 
October 12 the Cretan Assembly passed a unanimous reso- 
lution, declaring the union of Crete with Greece. A com- 
mittee of six members was chosen to govern the island in 
the name of the King of Greece and according to Greek 
laws, which were to be put in force by decrees. The power 
of the committee was to end as soon as the Greek Govern- 
ment assxuned administration of the island. 

Was not Crete in virtually the same position as East- 
em Rumelia in 1885, or, in fact, as Bulgaria herself? It 
was natural that the establishment of the constitutional 


regime in Turkey, given the avowed programme of the 
Young Turks, should lead to a new proclamation of union 
with Greece. The motives which led to this action were 
identical with those put forth by Austria-Hungary as a 
justification of her annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
The Cretans feared as much as the Bulgarians that the 
Young Turks would repudiate the obligations assimied by 
Abdul Hamid, and endeavor to force their country back 
into the Turkish fold. At the moment Turkey was so en- 
grossed in the question of the Austrian move and the 
Bulgarian declaration of independence and seizure of the 
railways of Eastern Rxunelia that the Sublime Porte con- 
tented itself with a formal protest against the action of 
the Cretan Assembly. 

Turkey could have done nothing had the four Protecting 
Powers recognized the union with Greece. They were no 
more bound by treaty to prevent the union of Crete with 
Greece than they were to prevent the annexation of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary and the repudiation 
of the suzerainty of the Sultan by Bulgaria. And if it were 
a question of obligations, Great Britain was morally bound 
to hand Cyprus back to Turkey, and let regenerated Tur- 
key have a say in Egypt. But each of the four Powers, 
regardless of the jeopardy in which Crete was placed and 
of the interests of the Cretans, was ready to sacrifice the 
Cretans to the sensibilities of the Young Turks. It was 


the same motive that forbade intervention a few months 
later in the Adana massacres. From 1908 to 19 14 the six 
great Powers were equally guilty of pursuing a policy at 
Constantinople based upon expediency, striving for spedal 
privileges and concessions by stabbing one another in the 
back. And in 1919, with three of the Powers eliminated, 
the other three began again the same sordid and shameless 

The Protecting Powers, although their troops were in 
the island, made no threats and took no action. Inde- 
cision was made worse by the following note, which the 
four consuls at Candia sent to the self-appointed Provi- 
sional Government: 

"The undersigned agents of France, Great Britain, 
Italy, and Russia, by order of their respective Govern- 
ments, have the honor of bringing to the knowledge of the 
Cretan Government that the Protecting Powers consider 
the union of Crete with Greece as depending upon the 
assent of the Powers which have contracted obligations 
towards Turkey. Nevertheless they would not refuse to 
consider with kindly and sympathetic interest the later 
discussion of this question with Turkey, provided that it 
is shown that order can be maintained in the island and 
the safety of the Moslem population secured.** 

In vain Venizelos contended that experience had already 

shown that the Cretans were capable of maintaining order 

in the island, and that no Moslem had felt any insecurity 

since the withdrawal of the Turkish before. The Moslems 


who emigrated had done so because they refused to live 
under Christian rule. Bad blood between Christians and 
P ll Moslems would arise again only if the latter refused to 
accept the changed status quo and conspired to bring back 
the Turks. 

In the spring of 1909 the Protecting Powers realized 
that they were getting into a bad hole. Germany was 
beginning to profit^ at Athens as well as at Constantinc^le, 
by the eflFort they were making to carry water on both 
shoulders. The Sublime Porte declared that the Govern- 
ment and people were unanimous in the determination to 
maintain Turkish sovereignty (the word "suzerainty" had 
now been abandoned) over Crete. The Cretans answered 
by making all officials take the oath of allegiance to the 
Xing of Greece, and sent appeals from the decisions of 
local courts to the Court of Appeals at Athens. The Sub- 
lime Porte pointed out that the international troops were 
occupying Crete for the purpose of preventing any in- 
fringement of Turkish rights, and wanted the ambassadors 
of the Protecting Powers to explain why their troops were 
not performing their duties. But when the Powers hit upon 
the withdrawal of the troops of occupation as the only 
way of avoiding a repetition of this embarrassing question, 
the Turks intimated that the withdrawal would certainly 
^ 21 be followed by massacres of Moslems and that they could 
not be expected to remain passive in such a contingency. 


On July 26, 1909, the Protecting Powers withdrew their 
garrisons. In a proclamation to the Cretans, a copy of 
which was communicated to the Greek Government, the 
Powers said that four warships would be stationed perma- 
nently in Cretan waters to protect Moslems and to safe- 
guard "the supreme rights of the Ottoman Empire." 
This arrangement would be provisional, as the political 
status of the island could not be discussed until a more 
opportune moment. 

By order of their governments the consuls sang once 
more the old Siren song. They impressed upon Venizelos 
the delicate situation of the Protecting Powers, their good- 
will toward the Cretans, and their intention of taking 
action at Constantinople as soon as possible. But the 
Cretan Premier must cooperate with them by keeping the 
Cretans from any overt act. They would be under obliga- 
tions to him which they would not forget at the proper 
moment, and he would have no cause to regret refraining 
from rash acts. He knew how they felt, and they knew 
that he was reasonable and sensible. Venizelos was fully 
informed as to the diplomatic reasons for indecision and 
procrastination. The Powers were not considering the 
Cretan question in terms of Crete or Greece. But they 
were face to face with a statesman who would not be 
bluffed or intimidated. He simunoned the Powers to state 
their intentions. He said that he did not wish to run 


counter to their orders, but that he would have to raise 
the flag of Greece over the island when their troops left. 
He demonstrated that the alternative woiild mean 

The Young Turks had decided to do once more what 
Abdul Hamid had done so successfully in 1897. They 
knew that Greece was in a state bordering on anarchy and 
that her treatment of the princes had roused the resent- 
ment of the British, Russian, and German courts against 
Greece. If they could use the Cretan question to humiliate 
Greece, they would not only give the newly-fledged 
"Ottoman race*' something around which to rally in the 
creation of national spirit, but they would have the whip 
hand over Ottoman Greeks whose fidelity to the consti- 
tution they wanted to test. The crisis through which 
Hellenism passed in 1909 and 1910 cannot be too strongly 
emphasized. We must remember that fully half of the 
Greek race was still under the Ottoman flag and that the 
Young Turk movement, under the mask of a specious 
liberalism, was really an attempt to destroy the Hellenic 
national life, which five centuries of despotism had not 
accomplished. These two years were the supreme test for 
Venizelos. Had his vision been limited to Crete or to 
Crete and the Kingdom of Greece, Venizelos would never 
have accomplished his great work. He would not have 
won the title of savior of Hellas. 


The Protecting Powers evacuated Crete on July 26. 
On July 29 the Greek flag was hoisted at Canea. The 
Ottoman Government, ready as they thought to force the 
issue directly with Greece, sent a note to Greece, demand- 
ing the recall of Greek officers of militia and gendarmery 
in Crete. Two days later a second Turkish note, couched 
in strong terms, pointed out that Greek officers had taken 
an active part in hoisting the flag in Crete, and asked for 
a categorical assurance that Greece had no intention of 
annexing or invading Crete, failing which the Ottoman 
Minister at Athens would be recalled on unlimited leave. 
On August 9 Greece answered, with the approval of the 
Protecting Powers, that she desired to maintain frank and 
friendly relations with Turkey, that the Greek Govern- 
ment had nothing whatever to do with the annexationist 
movement, and that Greece was willing to promise to 
preserve the same correct and loyal attitude as in the past. 
Since Crete was in the hands of the Protecting Powers, 
the Greek Government must leave to them the solution of 
the Cretan question, and would abide by their decision. 
This explanation was ostensibly accepted by the Sublime 
Porte. Diplomatic relations were not broken. But in 
order to impress the Powers and intimidate Greece, the 
Turks began to boycott Greek ships and Greek goods. At 
Saloniki, Smyrna, Beirut, and Trebizond the longshore- 
men refused to imload Greek ships. Committees were 


formed to picket and turn buyers from Greek shops. Boy- 
cotting had first been used against Austria-Himgary the 
autunm before as a protest against the annexation c^ 
Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Sublime Porte represented 
it as a popular movement. In truth, as I had excellent 
opportunities of observing, the boycott movement then 
and later was organized by the local Turkish authorities. 
It was an economic weapon used for political purposes. 
The Turks could not benefit by it econcnnically, as they 
could neither supply the goods nor do the work of the 

Instead of accepting the fait accompli and admonishing 
the Sublime Porte that Crete was lost, the Protecting 
Powers encouraged Turkish chauvinism by dispatching 
additional warships to Crete. On August i8 they landed 
marines imder the guns of the ships. Venizelos, true to 
precedent, would not haul down the flag. But this time, 
as he hoped that the Powers would soon realize the folly 
of their action and as he wanted to avoid a new national 
occupation of the island, he did not oppose the landing 
parties. The affair was like a scene from a comic opera. 
Four sailors, representing each Power, chopped the flag- 
staff with axes. A small force was quartered in the port 
of Canea to prevent any new affront to Turkey. 

Did Venizelos believe that the Powers would now tell 
Turkey that they had done all they could, and refuse to 


interfere further in the Cretan question? If so, he was 
deceived. Did the Powers believe that Venizelos would be 
convinced of the futility^^of further annexionist moves? 
If so, the Powers were deceived. From this time on 
Venizelos definitely bucked European diplomacy, ignored 
the advice and warnings of the Powers, and abandoned the 
hope of saving Hellenism through the cooperation of 
Europe. He discounted even the good-will of the Powers. 
iJike a true statesman, of course, he sought to maintain 
friendly relations with all the PowerQThe nation-builder 
can afford to leave no stone unturned. But at the best he 
hoped now only to be let alone. He knew that the Hellenes 
could look for no constructive aid and cooperation outside 
of the Balkan i)eninsula. The Powers were insensible to 
the danger Hellenism incurred from the Young Turk 
movement. Venizelos had arrived at that stage of devel- 
opment as a statesman in which Cavour was when he 
cried, ^^Italiofard da se!^^ 

In standing out once more and for all time against 
Turkey and European diplomacy, in refusing to accept 
any longer the autonomous status quo for Crete, in pitting 
his own strong and resolute leadership against the dilatory 
tactics of the Powers, Venizelos was fighting for the very 
existence of Hellenism, for the precious heritage of every 
man and woman and child throughout the world who 
spoke the Greek language. Hellas called for a Moses. 


Venizelos answered the call. To maintain the formula of 
the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, the Protecting 
Powers struck down the Greek flag at Canea. By this act 
they made inevitable a life-and-death struggle between 
Greeks and Turks that would result in the virtual destruc- 
tion of the Ottoman Empire. They made inevitable the 
world war they were attempting to avoid. 

On October 7, 1908, when Venizelos had assumed the 
responsibility of answering the Young Turk pretensions 
by repudiating the further suzerainty of Turkey, he said 
to fifteen thousand Cretans on the Champs de Mars at 
Canea : 

"Our revolution is peaceful and is not directed against 
the Powers. Its sole object is the final and irrevocable 
union of Crete with the Mother country. Hereafter the 
Government will act in the name of the Hellenic kingdom, 
and the Assembly will be opened in the name of the King, 
the deputies qualifying by taking the oath of allegiance 
to the King." 

From this programme Venizelos never deviated. During 
1909 and 1910 other Cretan leaders, dismayed by the 
fulminations of the Powers and disconcerted by the vir- 
tual repudiation of Crete by Greece, thought that modi- 
fications and compromises were necessary. Not so Veni- 
zelos. He was no autocrat. He let others try out their 
ideas. But they came back to Venizelos — and to the 
annexation programme pure and simple. 


After the Protecting Powers intervened the Provisional 
Government resigned. In Greece and Crete the political 
situation was confused and uncertain. Premier Theotokis 
had abandoned the premiership at Athens, not believing 
that war could be undertaken with any success against 
Turkey. His successor, Rallis, agreed to postpone the 
general election until 1910 in order to avoid the embarrass- 
ment of the arrival in Athens of Cretan deputies to a new 
Parliament. Of the attempt of the Military League to 
get control of Greek politics I shall speak in another 

In December the Sublime Porte sent a new note to the 
Protecting Powers. It was pointed out that peace in the 
Near East could be preserved only by a prompt settle- 
ment of the Cretan question. Turkey was willing to con- 
firm the autonomy granted to Crete, but on condition 
that idea of annexation be formally rejected by the Greek 
Government. This was a subterfuge. The ambassadors of 
the Powers knew as well as the Cretans did that when the 
principle of autonomy was accepted as the basis of nego- 
tiations, the Young Turks were ready to define "auton- 
omy " in a sense that would take away from Crete many 
of the privileges enjoyed since 1898. This renewal of 
pressure upon the Powers at Constantinople had its 
immediate repercussion in Crete. The stop-gap Govern- 
menty which had been marking time since August, re- 


signed. On December 29, 1909, a new Cabinet was formed, 
whose members swore allegiance tx) the King of Greece. 

The Sublime Porte became aggressive. In January 
Turkey protested against Cretan officials' taking the oath 
of allegiance to the King of Greece and against the appli- 
cation of the Greek code by Cretan courts of justice. In 
February Turkey informed the Powers that should the 
Cretans partidpate in the next Greek parliamentary elec- 
tion, energetic measures would be taken for the defense of 
Ottoman rights. The Protecting Powers then addressed 
a strong note to the Cretan Government. The Cretans 
were told that the oath of allegiance was null and void 
and must not be exacted of deputies to the next Cretan 
Assembly. Consular representatives must be allowed to 
sit in the courts, with the power to see that justice was 
properly administered. If the Cretans persisted in at- 
tempting to elect deputies to the Greek Chamber, the 
Powers would intervene. No Cretan would be allowed 
to go to Athens. The Cretans agreed to accept consular 
representatives in the law court, but only in cases where 
foreign subjects were involved, as provided for in the 
capitulations. No reply was made to the other points in 
the note of the Powers. 

What the Young Turks had in mind is proved by their 
programme, which was published in April in the Taninej 
at that time the official organ of the Committee of Union 


and Progress, which controlled the Cabinet and Parlia- 
ment. The minimiim which the Porte woiild accept in the 
definite and permanent solution of the status of Crete was 
set forth in five points: 

1. Formal recognition of the rights of the Sultan. 

2. The right of the Siiltan to name the Governor- 
General of the island among three Cretan candidates 
elected by the General Assembly. 

3. The right of the Sheik-^-Islam to name the religious 
chiefs of the Cretan Moslems. 

4. Establishment in the Bay of Suda of a coaling- 
station for the Ottoman fleet, and the maintenance there 
of a permanent sUUionnaire like the stationnaires of the 
Embassies at Constantinople. 

5. Restriction of the rights of the Cretan Government 
in the matter of conclusion of treaties of commerce and 
agreements with foreign powers. 

What the "rights of the Sultan** might be the Tanine 
did not specify. Nor was there any precision in the con- 
fused and bellicose debates in the Ottoman Parliament. 
Articles 4 and 5 were enough to throw Crete into a state 
of wildest excitement. The Turks, after having lost the 
island, were trying to win it back. 

To the casual reader, at the time and since, the Young 
Turks programme seemed reasonable. Animated by sym- 
pathy for the Yoimg Turks in the movement to redeem 
and liberalize the Ottoman Empire, the European and 
American press was hostile to the Cretans. The role of 


Venizelos was more unfavorably presented than in any of 
the previous crises. This was partly due to the fact that 
his international importance was beginning to be realized, 
where before he had been regarded as a brigand chief. 
But main reasons were an ignorance of Turkish psychology 
and Turkish motives and a belief that racial and religious 
questions could be solved by an international guarantee 
of "the rights of minorities." The statesmen of the Pro- 
tecting Powers were quick to see how the support of 
public opinion could be won by invoking the specter of 
the oppressor becoming the oppressed. When one is eman- 
cipated, he must expect to see the sympathy that goes to 
the under dog transferred to the ex-master. 

The protection of minorities in a newly created country 
or in districts changed from one sovereignty to another is 
a troublesome question. If outside Powers reserve for 
themselves by treaty the right of intervention to protect 
minorities, two abuses arise: the encouragement to the 
minority in question to create a state within a state and 
to appeal constantly to the guarantor, and the temptation 
to the guarantor to fish in troubled waters in order to 
secure for himself political and economical advantages. 
Where there are several guarantors, each becomes suspi- 
cious of the other when the question of intervention is 
raised. The aftermath of the Paris Peace Conference is 
demonstrating the difficulties of the minority question 


where only racial issues are involved. Where the Jews 
enter in, the problem becomes more complicated. With 
a Christian majority and Moslem minority, or vict versa^ 
it is altogether hopeless. In the minds of Moslems reli- 
gious and political rights cannot be divorced. A full dis- 
cussion of this problem is reserved for our chapter on the 
Peace Treaties. The stand taken by Venizelos in 1919 and 
1920 was the justification for and the explanation of the 
stand he took in 1910. Venizelos knew that so long as 
the Protecting Powers and Turkey, jointly or singly, 
claimed the right to protect the Moslem minority in Crete, 
the Moslems would never be reconciled to Greek sover- 
eignty or cooperate loyally even in an autonomous form 
of government. 

On May 9, 19 10, the Cretan Assembly was opened in 
the name of George I, King of the Hellenes. The Christian 
deputies took the oath of allegiance to King George, and 
wanted to force the Moslem deputies to do the same. 
Although he stood alone in his opinion, Venizelos urged 
that the Moslem deputies should be excused from taking 
the oath if they would expressly declare that they consid- 
ered themselves to be under the protection of the Powers, 
and unable to associate themselves with their Christian 
fellow-countrymen in a coup d^etat which ran counter to 
their aspirations. For the moment the counsel of Venizelos 
prevailed, and the Moslem deputies were not required to 


take the oath. But they themselves forced the issue. They 
presented a protest in which they rejected the sovereignty 
of Greece over Crete. The Assembly replied by passing a 
resolution that all deputies should take the oath. The 
Moslem deputies then presented a motion declaring that 
the Sultan of Turkey held "sovereign rights" in the island. 
This motion was rejected by acclamation. Then the 
Moslem deputies, in the name of their constituents, pro- 
tested against what they called an attempt to change the 
legal status of Crete, and refused to take the oath. 

Ignoring the Moslem protest, the Assembly on May 17 
changed itself into a Constituent Assembly and appointed 
an executive conmiittee to act as the Government, with 
Venizelos for President. Venizelos accepted the office. He 
annoimced that the Government would work for the recog- 
nition of annexation to Greece, and would protect the 
Moslem minority. But the Moslems must accept the new 
de facto status quo. 

The next day the consuls of the Powers upbraided 
Venizelos for having abandoned his attitude of the pre- 
vious week concerning the Moslem deputies. They warned 
him that "any attempt to exclude the Moslem deputies 
from the Cretan Assembly would have serious conse- 
quences." Venizelos answered that he had given a chance 
to the Moslem deputies to avoid taking the oath of alle- 
giance. He did not want to go against their sentiments or 


religious instincts. But instead of adopting a passive atti- 
tude, they had proved themselves agents of the Sublime 
Porte and were trying to stir up trouble. He wanted to be 
tolerant and spare their feelings. The interference of the 
Powers, which raised false hopes, was the cause of the 
difficulty. On May 19 the Moslem deputies were excluded 
by unanimous vote of the Christian majority, and the 
sittings suspended for forty days to see what the Powers 
would do. Venizelos signed a decree, preventing Moslem 
officials from exercising legal functions until they con- 
sented to take the oath of allegiance, and notified the 
Powers that they must solve the question by recognizing 
the union of Crete with Greece. 

Instead of boldly cutting the Gordian knot, and resign- 
ing themselves to the lesser of two evils, the Protecting 
Powers gave the Near East an exhibition of irresolution 
and lack of sincerity. Their note to Venizelos was a mix- 
ture of bullying and pleading. No Moslem officials were 
to be prevented from discharging duties or deprived of 
pay because they had not sworn allegiance to King George, 
and if on the same pretext the Moslem deputies were once 
more excluded when the Cretan Assembly met again, the 
Powers would " consider what steps were required to regu- 
larize the situation." The Cretans must not make changes 
which might give rise to a breach of peace in the Near 
East. Additional warships were ordered to Cretan waters 


and a threat made to reoccupy Crete. At the same time, 
in a note to the Sublime Porte the Protecting Powers de- 
clared that they had "given proof of their intention and 
desire to safeguard the sovereign rights of the Sultan." 
But if the Ottoman Government wanted a definite settle- 
ment of the Cretan question, it must address itself to all 
six Powers that were signatories of the Treaty of Berlin. 
Turkey must in the meantime put an end to the agitation 
in the empire, the continuance of which "was not justified 
by the attitude of Greece and could not fail to provoke re- 
grettable incidents." 

Ballplatz and Wilhelmstrasse gave no sign of life. The 
boycott of Greek goods continued in Turkey. The Turks 
began to mobilize troops on the Thessaly frontier. In des- 
peration the Protecting Powers presented an ultimatimi to 
Crete, declaring that if the Assembly did not yield to their 
demands troops would be landed in the principal port and 
the customs receipts seized. Venizelos asked the Powers to 
define "the steps required to regularize the situation" in 
their earlier note, and also what they meant by "intention 
to safeguard the sovereign rights of the Sultan" in the 
note to Turkey. The Protecting Powers simply reiterated 
their ultimatum. The Assembly assented to the conditions 
of the Powers. 

Venizelos saw that his work in Crete was finished. He 
realized that the Powers were determined to continue 


their negative role. Crete could be annexed to Greece only 
by Greece proving herself stronger than Turkey, and not 
by diplomatic maneuvers. And since the Young Turk 
Revolution Crete had been by no means the most serious 
problem for Hellenism. The Greek race was being threat- 
ened with extinction in Turkey. How could he hope to 
solve the Cretan question, then, by keeping up an utterly 
futile exchange of notes with the Protecting Powers? 
Venizelos had long been in close touch with the leaders of 
the Military League. In the eyes of the Greeks he already 
symbolized the defense and the aspirations of Hellenism. 
So he consented to become a candidate in an Athens con- 
stituency for the Greek Chamber of Deputies. 

After Crete yielded to the ultimatum of the Protecting 
Powers, Venizelos went to Switzerland ostensibly for a 
vacation. In Lausanne he could confer more freely than at 
Canea or at Athens with his Greek friends. There, on 
August 21, 1910, he received the telegram announcing his 
election by an overwhelming majority. The leaders of the 
Military League had known beforehand his conditions. 
The vote indicated their acceptance of the conditions, and 
their willingness to put into his hands the movement they 
had started for the regeneration of Greece and the salva- 
tion of Hellenism. 

Venizelos returned to Crete, and resigned the presi- 
dency of the Provisional Government, designating as his 


successor Maris, a tried friend. Some of his Cretan follow- 
ers were in dismay. But Venizelos reminded them of the 
lessons of two decades, and convinced them that he could 
N best serve Crete by attempting to make Greece strong. He 
begged them to keep assxuing the Cretans that Venizelos 
would not forget the goal for which they had been work- 
ing and suflFering together. What he would have to do at 
Athens might puzzle them, but they must not lose faith 
in him. 

It was a foregone conclusion that Venizelos would have 
inunediately a place in the Cabinet. A delegation of depu- 
ties and other prominent persons, charged to accompany 
"the new Minister,*' arrived in Crete. On September 17 
the city of Canea offered Vemzelos a farewell banquet. 
Standing before those whom he had to forsake in order to 
continue to lead them, he started a speech that he had long 
been preparing. Its theme was to be the salvation of Crete 
through the strength of Greece. Venizelos started, "My 
dear fellow-citizens — " 

For the first and only time in his life Venizelos was un- 
able to make a speech. He repeated the three words. 
Then he broke down. Rare in the lives of Greeks is a 
moment of silence. But the twenty-four years that were 
ending could not be spoken of: and the future was in the 
hands of God. 



ON the very day that Mahmoud Shevket Pasha de- 
clared in the Ottoman Parliament that if Greece did 
not make a public statement to the e£fect that she had 
no intention at any time to extend her sovereignty over 
Crete, a million Turkish bayonets would gleam upon the 
plains of Thessaly, Eleutherios Venizelos was slipping out 
of Suda Bay bound for Athens. The Ottoman general 
added that the Turkish armies were strong enough to turn 
the tide in a general European war, and that no European 
Power dared to risk offending Turkey by espousing the 
cause of the Cretans. It is because these statements re- 
flected the opinion of the Conunittee of Union and Prog- 
ress, which was in a position to precipitate a new war 
against Greece, and because the Powers all thought they 
had to reckon with the regenerated military power of Tur- 
key in their diplomatic calculations, that Venizelos knew 
he could no longer stay in Crete. 

The Young Turks were relying upon the nervousness of 
the Great Powers to prevent Italy from taking Tripoli and 
Greece from taking Crete. There was compensation for 
the loss of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the growing friction 


between Austria-Hungary and Russia, as the latter, 
checked in the Far East and having compounded her dif- 
ferences with Great Britain, was intriguing once more in 
the Balkans. Germany was standing behind Austria- 
Hungary, and was active in Riunania and Bulgaria. 
There seemed to be no danger of a rapprochement between 
Greece and Italy. The Balkan States were at loggerheads 
over Macedonia. Greece was torn with intestine quarrels. 

The Young Turks appreciated more than the Europeans 
the high qualities of Venizelos. I was in Constantinople 
when Venizelos intervened in Greece, and followed the 
conunents of the Turkish press. If they had not feared 
him, the Turks would scarcely have been so bitter. Adopt- 
ing the thesis that Cretans were Ottoman subjects, they 
denounced Venizelos as a traitor, and declared that he 
would be condenmed to death and his possessions confis- 
cated when they reoccupied Crete. The reconquest of 
Crete, either directly or through an invasion of Greece, 
was what they annoxmced as their object, and they sought 
a casus belli. 

Three other Cretans were elected to the Chamber of 
Deputies by constituencies of the kingdom. The Sublime 
Porte took the stand that as Cretans were Ottoman sub- 
jects, their admission to the Greek Parliament would lead 
to a rupture of diplomatic relations. The threat of war 
was backed by mobilization on the Thessaly frontier. 


Anti-Greek agitation was at a fever heat. Greek steam- 
ship owners and Ottoman Greek merchants faced ruin 
from the boycott. 

Fortunately, Venizelos was able to prove his Greek 
citizenship. His father was born in the kingdom, and 
when he was a student at the University he was registered 
as a citizen of the Piraeus. Although he had always lived 
in Crete, he was technically within his rights. It is only in 
the United States that a man is required to have a bona 
fide residence in the circumscription which he represents. 
European custom allows a candidate to stand for election 
in any constituency he may choose. 

The Cretan colleagues of Venizelos had no claim to 
Greek citizenship other than the proclamation of the an- 
nexation of the island to the Kingdom of Greece. As an- 
nexation had been disavowed by the. Protecting Powers 
and not accepted by Greece, the other Cretans resigned. 
The time had not come to force the issue. In fact, the 
moment Venizelos set foot in Greece he adopted the policy 
of doing everything in his power to avoid a rupture with 
Turkey. Greece was no more ready for war than she had 
been in 1897. The Greeks knew this. The most exalted 
members of the Military League recognized the folly of 
Greece attempting to withstand Turkey alone. It was the 
universal dismay of the Greeks at the possibility of a war 
that put them in the frame of mind of being willing to lis- 


ten to Venizelos and to follow him. In their utter hopeless- 
ness he was the deus ex machina. 

This was all that Venizelos had in his favor. Everything 
else was against him. Despite the reputation that pre- 
ceded him, he was a stranger. His intervention had been 
made possible by an organization that had been in open 
rebellion against the dynasty and the government. The 
Military Lieague would naturally try to dominate him. 
The part he had played in Crete against Prince George 
made the royal family view him with suspicion. The old- 
fashioned politicians could hardly have been expected to 
welcome the newcomer. No human being could have won 
against such odds, then or in later crises, had it not been 
for the unwavering confidence and support of Greek mer- 
chants, who, during the decade of constant and glorious 
struggle, have backed Venizelos against Church and 
Court and politicians. 

It does not detract from the genius of Venizelos, nor 
from the miracles that genius has achieved, to point out 
his dependence upon the most virile and wholesome ele- 
ment in Hellenic national life. The prosperity of Greece, 
the very existence of Greece, is due to trading and ship- 
ping. The cream of the Greek race is in her merchant class. 
In great majority they come of families the foundation of 
whose fortune was laid in "unredeemed Greece" and in 
Greek communities in foreign lands. During the past cen* 


tury they looked upon the Kingdom of Greece not as a 
mother country from which they derived their origin and 
to which they owed allegiance, but as the means of ac- 
complishing the redemption, the regeneration, the union 
of Hellas. Solely because the tip of the Balkan peninsula 
was free, and not because of ancient Sparta and Athens, 
have Greek patriots built their ideal of united Hellas upon 
the foundation of the Kingdom of Greece. The little King- 
dom of Greece has been simply the Piedmont of the Greek 
race, with the ^Hellenic Rome unredeemed. Constantino- 
ple, not Athens, is the center of Hellas. When Venizelos 
went to Athens in 1910, Greece was in the Piedmont stage 
of her unification. She was still in the Piedmont stage 
when Venizelos went to the Conference of Paris in 19 19. 
Greek irredentism is different from that of Italy and Ger- 
many and other nations because the force has been cen- 
tripetal rather than centrifugal. 

The Greek merchant class saw in Venizelos the embodi- 
ment of its ideal. And it saw, too, a leader whose methods 
it understood. Among business men there are as many 
idealists, mystics even, as in any other class of society. 
Business men are often accused of timidity and coldness, 
where their lack of enthusiasm is due not to failure to ap- 
preciate the merit of a cause, but to instinctive questioning 
of ways and means and to the dictates of experience. The 
record of Venizelos in Crete inspired confidence. Here 


was the leader, wise, courageous, energetic, magnetic, who 
would never sacrifice Graecia irredenta to his own careen 
Venizelos came to Athens as the representative of "unre- 
deemed Greece/' To become and remain the big frpg in 
the little pool of a Balkan kingdom was no more of a temp- 
tation to him than to be master of Crete. The merchants 
of Hellas, good business men, ardent patriots, thinking 
always of their kinsfolk in the Ottoman Empire, decided 
to back Venizelos to the end. 

The Military League, and the politicians who identified 
themselves with this movement, could not be counted 
upon to be loyal to the new leader. They were uncertain 
as to their own aims and too undisciplined in their meth- 
ods to last long. The first decisive step in the career of 
many a man — the step which makes or breaks him — is 
to repudiate the right of those who have called him to 
ofiice to control him. The test came to Venizelos on the 
very day of his arrival in Athens. The members of the 
Military League took for granted that Venizelos was anti- 
dynastic, although he had warned the chiefs of the League 
that he would work to strengthen the authority and pres- 
tige of the crown. The merchants, whose contact with the 
outside world caused them to realize the value to Greece 
of the royal family with its unrivaled connections in Eu- 
rope, knew that Venizelos was not anti-dynastic. The 
members of the Military League, immoderate and unrea- 


soning because of the quasi-success of the revolutionary 
movement, interpreted the new leadership of Greece as an 
occasion for cutting loose from old moorings. The mer- 
chants, posted by Zaimis as to the clear vision of Venize- 
los, felt sure that he was willing to build on the old founda- 
tions, and would destroy nothing before he had something 
to take its place. The Military League had been causing 
them a great deal of anxiety. In its inception the revolu- 
tion was necessary for the salvation of Greece just as the 
Yoxmg Turk Revolution had been necessary for the salva- 
tion of Turkey. Young Turkey developed no leader capa- 
ble of dominating the revolution and guiding it in the right 
direction to attainable aims. Without Venizelos it might 
have been the same with Young Greece. 

On September 18, 19 10, Venizelos arrived at the Piraeus. 
Harbor craft were ablaze with flags. Whisties blew and 
bells rang. The whole town turned out to greet its fellow- 
citizen. At Athens, Venizelos had difficulty in getting to 
his hotel. Summoned to the balcony, he made his first 
speech to the people who knew him only as a legendary 
Cretan hero. 

" I shall coll borate with those who want to lift Greece 
morally and materially to the level of modem states and 
to make her the factor of civilization and progress in the 
Orient," he cried. 

The crowd went wild. This was the kind of talk they 


wanted to hear. But when the new leader went on to 
point out that the Greeks must group themselves around 
the King, because it was to the interest of the nation to 
demonstrate its attachment to the dynasty, it was like a 
coXd douche. Werethese the words of a revolutionary? On 
shipboard the deputies who went to Crete to meet him 
had tipped off Venizelos as to the feeling of the pec^le. 
There was a glorious chance for a demagogue to over- 
throw the Government. Everybody was in favor of con- 
sidering the newly elected Chamber a Constituent Assemr 
bly, which would endow Greece with a new constitution, 
changing the country to a republic if it wanted to. It was 
the moment for a dictator. 

But, to the astonishment and bewilderment of those 
who had placed high hopes on his coming, Venizelos de- 
clared that the Assembly must remain revisionist. 

An angry and excited cry went up. "Constituent! Con- 
stituent!" yelled the crowd, instigated by agents of the 
extreme wing of the Military Licague. 

When the clamor died down, Venizelos said calmly, "I 
said revisionist." 

The Athenians redoubled their cries. "Constituent! 
Constituent ! Down with the Danes ! " 

Again Venizelos waited until he could be heard. As he 
had so often done in Crete, he bucked the crowd, raising 
his voice and shaking his fist at those who had come to 


acclaim him. "Again I say revisionist!'* he thundered, 
** We have been elected for certain purposes and have con- 
tracted obligations toward those who chose us. The cove- 
nant is definite. It behooves us, therefore, to fulfill those 
purposes and to cany out the terms of the covenant. The 
Assembly, elected to revise the constitution, cannot make 

a new constitution." 

There were murmurs, followed by cold silence. The 
Cretan continued his speech. Gradually the crowd warmed 
to him again, and when he finished, acclamations broke 
out afresh, more restrained, perhaps, than the first greet- 
ings inspired of hero-worship, but more intelligent. The 
people were frankly disappointed. But that afternoon a 
leader imposed his will upon them. In a few brief moments 
he won the greatest battle of his life. From that time on, 
although the Athenians have more than once outwardly 
rejected him, Venizelos has dominated Greece. 
• Venizelos won out with the people, transforming the 
enthusiastic welcome into a real acceptance of him by 
minds and hearts. He had yet to reckon with politicians 
and the Court. In the negotiations before his arrival in 
Athens, Venizelos succeeded in getting adopted his point 
of view concerning the necessity of a new Chamber to re- 
vise the constitution by using the Military League, which 
threatened force if Cabinet and King did not agree. The 
August elections were a severe shock to the old parties 


and tx) the Court, It was their intention to get Venizelos 
in wrong from the start by ignoring him and forcing him 
to consort with and use the Military Lieague. If Venizelos 
thus threw his lot in with the extremists and radicals, he 
would soon get into trouble with the imruly elements and 
at the same time be discredited in the eyes of the Greek 
people and with the Powers. But by coming out openly in 
support of the dynasty and opposing the clamor for a Con- 
stituent Assembly, Venizelos avoided this trap. The Cre- 
tan was a bigger man than his adversaries had expected. 
With the convening of the revisionist Assembly, Venizelos 
became immediately the leader of the strong parliamentary 
party, and no longer needed the League to enforce his 
point of view. 

He had maneuvered himself at the start into a position 
independent of and stronger than the Lieague. As leader 
of the League, despite his ability, he would have remained 
a revolutionary, and Court and politicians would have 
held the trump cards of administrative power and consti- 
tuted authority against him. As leader of a political party, 
with a large nxunber of deputies in the Chamber, Venizelos 
could not be ignored by the Court and was able to fight 
the politicians with their own weapons on their own 

Venizelos has been criticized for not having seized the 
opportunity of making a clean sweep of the old order in. 


Greece on the day of his arrivaL His intervention, given 
his backing and the circumstances, might easily have 
been made the occasion of transforming Greece into a 
republic, with the Cretan as President. The same oppor- 
tunity has occurred several times since. The man whose 
power has been demonstrated to be greater than that of 
the sovereign resisted the temptation of substituting him- 
self for the sovereign — as far as the outward show of it 
all went. In the work that he had ahead of him, whichever 
way he looked at it, the Crown was a precious asset. The 
Greeks, new in the art of self-government, might make 
impossible the functioning of executive authority, if the 
Cabinet could not appeal in times of crisis to the Crown. 
In the building-up of a strong army, royal leadership was 
essential. The immediate interests of Greece, in the matter 
of alliances, were in the Balkan peninsula. The other Bal- 
kan States were monarchies. Greece could ill afford to 
change her form of government until her neighbors did so. 
In the equally important field of European relations, 
Venizelos knew how precious were the advantages of using 
the personal influence of the reigning family in furthering 
the political and financial interests of Greece in European 

Venizelos, also, at the moment of his intervention, was 
not misled by the anti-dynastic character of the Military 
League movement into believing that the people were pro- 


foundly desirous of a change or into assuming that getting 
rid of the dynasty was a necessary, or even a helpful, step 
in setting Greece's house in order. Popular feeling must 
have something tangible against which to demonstrate. 
But the object of resentment is rarely the cause of political 
unrest. Hostility to King George and his sons was no 
more than a symptom of dissatisfaction over the impo- 
tence of Greece. 

Internally, the crisis in which the Military League arose 
was at the bottom an economic crisis, due to normal 
growth. The Kingdom of Greece could not support its pop- 
ulation by agriculture. As long as the country's finances 
were under international control and its administrative 
system undermined by the sterile strife of political fac- 
tions, it could not be expected that industrial development 
would take care of the excess population. The most virile 
element was emigrating to America. As for shipping, the 
mainstay of Greece's prosperity, the Young Turk Revolu- 
tion, culminating in the boycott, was threatening irrepa- 
rable disaster. Until Greece was strong enough, by reform- 
ing and developing her own military and naval resources 
and by making alliances with her neighbors, to bring 
Turkey to book, there was little hope of remedying the 
ills of which Greece was suffering. And in the background 
loomed the greatest question of all, the redemption of 
Hellas through the regeneration of the Kingdom of Greece. 


Two days before Venizelos arrived in Athens, the Inde- 
pendent party, with which he was supposed to be affiliated, 
had endeavored to prevent the other members from taking 
the oath prescribed by the constitution, demanding that 
the Assembly should " take the oath as a constituent body 
deriving its mandate from the sovereign people." The 
Government had to simmion soldiers with fixed bayonets 
to restore order. Into this atmosphere of bitter hatred, of 
political intolerance as uncompromising as that of the 
Cretan Assembly, entered Venizelos. And his first public 
act was to repudiate in the presence of the people of Athens 
the principal object for which his party was struggling! 

During three weeks the battle of words raged. Premier 
Dragoumis, finding that he was incapable of dealing with 
the situation, warned the deputies to take a lesson from the 
fate of Poland. Then he placed in the hands of the King 
the resignation of his Cabinet. 

King George was determined not to call upon Venizelos. 
He tried every combination possible in the days following 
the resignation of Dragoumis. When on October 15 the 
King first sounded Venizelos, the Cretan had ready his 
progranune in detail. He explained it to the King, and 
said : " If Your Majesty consents to leave me full liberty of 
action and to ratify this progranune, I promise to present 
to him in five years a renovated Greece, capable of in- 
spiring respect and of supporting its rights." 


The \Cni8ter of one of the Fdwers, reporting these nego- 
tiations to his Government, expressed astonishment at 
the confidence of Venizelos, "This man," he wrote, "is 
beyond question able, but he has not a chance in the 
world. He does not realize what he has to contend with/' 
It was the Minister who did not realize what Venizdos 
had already contended with during a quarter of a century 
in Crete. The fights in the Chamber of Dq>uties at Athens 
filled with dismay the European diplomat. Venizdos, 
having lived for years in the midst of far worse, knew that 
it was possible to make his ebullidve fellow-Greeks wnmer 
down quickly. 

On October i8, 19 lo, Venizdos became Premier of 
Greece. He called to the portfolio of Foreign Affairs 
Gryparis, Greek Minister to Constantinople, a significant 
appointment which made the people realize that relations 
with Turkey would have foremost place from now on in 
the foreign affairs of Greece. But when he presented his 
Cabinet to the Chamber on October 19, he was received in 
a spirit which showed that the popularity he had won with 
the people did not extend to his colleagues. His exposition 
of the policy of his Cabinet so covered the needs of Greece 
and the desires of the people that the old politicians could 
make no direct criticism. So they tried to discredit him 
by asking whether he had received from the King a prom- 
ise of dissolving the Chamber if the majority of deputies 


voted against him. With the courage that has never de- 
serted him, Venizelos stopped the discussion by asking for 
a vote of confidence. His opponents did not accept the 
challenge inmiediately. But their obstructionist tactics 
made impossible any beginning of the work for which the 
Assembly was called. 

On October 23 one of Venizelos's supporters, at the 
instigation of his chief, moyed a vote of confidence. The 
followers of Mavromichalis and Rallis, his two principal 
opponents, who represented the "old guard" in Greek 
politics, left the Chamber. They were followed by a num- 
ber of Independents, who had refused to become recon- 
ciled to the decision of Venizelos not to change the Assem- 
bly from revisionist to constituent. This left twenty less 
than a quorum. The motion could not be put. Venizelos 
inunediately handed in his resignation to the King. King 
George refused to accept it, on the ground that the Cham- 
ber had not voted, and requested the Cabinet to present 
itself again, after having persuaded enough deputies to 
attend to make a quorum. 

In the evening the power of Venizelos over the better 
elements of Athenian population first manifested itself in 
unmistakable form. The trade guilds and the University 
joined to convoke an indignation meeting. Ten thousand 
people manifested before the Palace and the house of 
Venizelos. A resolution was sent in to the King, urging 


him not to accept the resignation. Venizelos was told 
that the people were behind him. Venizelos answered 
that the reactionary maneuvers of politicians would not 
succeed, because the King and the people were collabo- 
rating to realize a progranune of reform. He said that he 
was eager to give the people of Greece a chance to pro- 
nounce between him and his opponents. 

On October 24, through the return of some of the Inde- 
pendents and the adhesion of Theotokis, the Government 
received a vote of confidence, 208 for and 3 1 against. But 
the Mavromichalis party and the Rallis party again ab- 
stained from voting. This made useful work by the exist- 
ing Assembly impossible. In fact, even without consider- 
ing the reactionary factions, Venizelos felt that he had no 
real majority. For some of the Independents made reser- 
vations. Venizelos went inunediately to the King and 
recommended dissolution, A decree dissolved the Cham- 
ber, and fixed December 1 1 for new elections and January 
8 for the opening of the new Chamber. 

The dissolution of the Chamber was a boon for Veni- 
zelos. His adversaries quickly realized this. They could 
have harmed Venizelos more had they not forced the issue. 
But it was too late. Mavromichalis, Rallis, and Theotokis 
saw that Venizelos had the country with him. Not wish- 
ing to risk defeat, they took the easier course of abstaining 
from entering candidates. The result was a foregone con- 


dusion. Out of 364 seats Venizelos won 300. The way- 
was clear for constructive reforms. 

But during the electoral campaign Venizelos did not 
modify his progranmie or make any move to gain votes by 
courting the anti-dynastic and militarist elements. Very 
adroitly, however, he seized upon the occasion of the new 
election to widen the scope of the revisionist progranune. 
The new National Assembly, he said, would not have to 
confine itself to the revision of the clauses of the constitu- 
tion prescribed by the last Chamber, for he had the as- 
surance of the King that there was no objection on the 
part of the Crown to an extension of the activity of the 
new Assembly in the matter of revision, provided the 
fundamental provisions of the constitution were left in- 
tact. Venizelos made the issues of the election the repu- 
diation of the political parties in Greece that had hitherto 
acted in their own interest and not for public welfare, 
radical changes in the administration of finances and the 
levy of taxes, loyalty to the dynasty, and the abstention 
of the army from any part in politics. To make the last 
point clear, he issued a circular to the military authorities 
on October 30, instructing them to urge the oflicers under 
their command to devote themselves exclusively to their 
professional duties and not to take part in politics. This 
was the final step in freeing himself from the charge that 
his power rested upon the Military League. 


The administrative reforms of Venizdos covered every 
field of govermnental activity. Since Napoleon Bonaparte 
no statesman has entered into and succeeded in putting 
new foundations under so many departments of govern- 
ment. Creation rather than reform or reconstruction is 
the word to describe the reorganization of Greece under 
Venizelos. The regeneration in administration and finan- 
ces, in army and navy, in the handling of international 
relations, which made possible the triumphs in the Balkan 
wars and the position of Greece after the World War, form 
a phase of Venizelos's life that needs to be treated sepa- 
rately. And one cannot jplace chronolo^cally this side of 
Venizelos's achievements; for the work initiated at the 
beginning of 191 1 has gone on without interruption except 
during the period when Venizelos was out of the premier- 

Before going on to the crisis in the Balkans which precip- 
itated the common war of liberation against Turkey, we 
must describe, as the corollary of the intervention of 
Venizelos in Greece, the final steps of the union of Crete 
with Greece. When Venizelos left Canea for the wider 
sphere in Athens, he begged his fellow-Cretans to have 
faith in him, even though they might not understand. In 
the midst of other preoccupations Venizelos did not forget 
Crete. His solution of the Cretan question was to make 
Greece strong and save Hellas. 


Even had he wanted to, Venlzelos as Premier of Greece 
would not have been allowed to forget or neglect Crete. 
The issue of annexation kept thrusting itself upon him in 
his new position, to his constant embarrassment in the 
bigger game he was playing, until the war with Turkey 
gave him the opportunity of achieving the aspiration to 
which he had devoted his whole life up to the moment he 
went to Greece. 

The news of the vindication of Venizelos in the Decem- 
ber election was received with tremendous enthusiasm in 
Crete. Once more the Cretan Assembly passed a resolu- 
tion demanding the annexation of the island to Greece. 
Once more the consuls informed the Cretan Executive 
Cbnunittee that the Protecting Powers had declared to 
Turkey that her "sovereign rights over Crete have been 
and are recognized by the Powers, and that the acts of the 
Cretan Assembly can have no effect on the determination 
of the four Powers to maintain the sovereign rights of 

In May, 191 1, yielding to the dictation of the Conmut- 
tee of Union and Progress, which had just held its congress 
at Saloniki, the Ottoman Government appointed kadis 
(judges) for the Moslem population of Greece, with in- 
structions to perform civil as well as religious functions. 
The Cretans resolved in popular meetings to prevent the 
landing of the kadis by force. But the matter did not go 



that far. The right of nominatmg kadis had been waived 
by Turkey in 1898. The Constitution of 1907 vested it in 
the head of the Cretan Government, but the right had 
not been exercised, as the kadis refused to take the oath 
prescribed for Cretan functionaries. As this nomination 
was an infringement upon the rights of autonomous admin- 
istration granted Crete by the Powers, the Ambassadors 
made representations at Constantinople, and the Sublime 
Porte yielded. 

The outbreak of war between Italy and Turkey raised 
new hopes of union with Greece. The renewal of the move- 
ment was strongly opposed by the Powers and by Veni- 
zelos, who urged the Cretans to keep quiet for the moment, 
as Greece was not in a position to fight Turkey. However, 
the annexionists elected deputies to the Greek Parlia- 
ment, who were only prevented from getting to Athens 
by the naval forces of the Powers. When they persisted in 
trying to leave the island, they were arrested and detained 
on the warships. 

In February, 191 2, the Powers sent a note to the Cretan 
Government, stating that if measures were taken to send 
deputies to Athens and if crimes against Moslems con- 
tinued in the island, the Powers would once more inter- 
vene. In March the Government was overthrown, and a 
permanent commission elected by the Assembly to take 
its place. Crete participated in the general election then 


being held in Greece, and elected sixty-nine deputies to 
represent Crete in the Greek Chamber. Some of them 
were arrested by the British Fleet, and detained as pris- 
oners for six weeks. Twenty-two, however, managed to 
get to Athens, much to the embarrassment of Venizelos. 
In May the number of Cretan deputies in Athens increased 
to forty. 

There was naturally much enthusiasm at Athens, and 
Venizelos was put in a position of opposing with all his 
might the very cause to which he had given his life. 
Venizelos begged the Cretans to be reasonable and to 
realize that their insistence on being admitted to the 
Chamber, if yielded to, would constitute a casus belli for 

Under the spell of their old chief, whose sincerity they 
could not question, the Cretans consented to wait. But 
other influences were working upon them and against 
Venizelos. Public opinion in Athens was sympathetic to 
the Cretan demand to enter the Chamber. A great num- 
ber of deputies was always ready to be led into voting a 
resolution admitting the Cretans. Agents provocateurs were 
working upon Parliament and the crowd, at the behest 
of the enemies of Venizelos and genuine enthusiasts who 
did not appreciate the peril of the moment. As Greeks 
are peculiarly susceptible to this sort of a game (and skill- 
ful in playing it), Venizelos passed through anxious 


months. He did not know at what moment a crisis might 
be predpitated which would involve Greece alone in war 
and spoil the plans that were being carefully laid for a 
Balkan alliance against Turkey. The military agreement 
with Bulgaria, signed after tireless negotiations, contained 
a clause making the alliance inoperative in case Greece 
should suddenly become involved with l\irkey over the 
Cretan question. The text mentions specifically the possi- 
bility of a rupture of diplomatic relations between Greece 
and Turkey arising from the admission of the Cretan depu- 
ties to the Greek Chamber. This proves that the Bul- 
garians realized how disastrous a premature outbreak of 
hostilities would be and also that this eventuality was 
within the bounds of possibility. Venizelos could take no 
one into his confidence. He could not reveal to the Cretan 
deputies nor to overzealous patriots the fraplity of an 
alliance for the salvation of the Balkans, when even its 
existence had to be kept secret. 

The seizure of Rhodes by the Italians and their evident 
intention to keep the island, and the appeal of Samos to 
Crete, further complicated the situation. On September 
21, three hundred Cretan volunteers landed on Samos, 
and were expelled by Turkish troops, aided by sailors 
from French and British cruisers. 

When the time arrived for convoking the Chamber, 
Venizelos made every effort to avoid giving Turkey a 


casus belli. He even proposed to the Porte the payment 
of a small tribute in order to secure from Turkey the recog- 
nition of the right of the Cretan deputies to meet in the 
Greek Parliament. 

TTie Chamber met on October 14, the very day Veni- 
zelos had arranged with the premiers of Serbia and Bulgaria 
to send an ultimatum to Turkey. Montenegro was already 
at war with Turkey. It was certain that Turkey would 
ignore the ultimatum, a response to which was demanded 
within forty-eight hours. So Venizelos felt safe in allowing 
the Cretan deputies to sit in the Chamber as spectators. 
In his opening address he said that although Greece would 
not be left alone to face the difficulties of securing from 
Turkey an acknowledgment of the union of Crete with 
Greece, he thought it would be well not to force the issue. 
He invited the Cretan deputies to return to Crete, to be 
elected in accordance with Greek laws, and assured them 
that in event of war the question would be definitely 

On May 30, 191 3, Turkey agreed in the Treaty of Lon- 
don to cede Crete to Greece. There is no miracle, no lucky 
turn of the cards, in all this. The achievement followed 
twenty-six years of preparation. A man of vision, equipped 
with brains and honesty and courage, grasped an oppor- 
tunity, and built upon a foundation of unusually rich expe- 
rience in the situations he was to face, the problems he 


would be called upon to solve. He oould not be brow- 
beaten, he could not be fooled, he could not be dazzled, 
he could not be tempted. If genius he has, it consists in 
knowing in just what cases the bird in the hand is worth 
two in the bush, and the moment when stubbornness 
changes from strength to weakness. Since the expression 
^^a man of vision" is often a glittering generality, it is 
necessary to explain my use of that term to describe 
Venizelos. A man of vision is one who sees what is in his 
path without losing sight of the goal, and who makes each 
situation, each problem, each task he faces yield experi- 
ence and knowledge to carry him to the goal. The goal of 
Venizelos is the unity of Greece. Ever since 1886 he has 
been pushing forward toward it as a man of vision pushes 

The annexation of Crete was a step forward in the 
life-work of Venizelos. Had he regarded it in any other 
light, had he made it the goal, he would not have accom- 
plished even that much for Hellas. 



THE formation of the Balkan Alliance was as astODr- 
ishing a phenomenon to European statesmen and 
diplomats as its quick and decisive success in crushing 
Turkey. Up to the last moment the Great Powers were 
skeptical. When the war broke out, it was confidently 
predicted in the embassy salons at Constantinople that 
Venizelos would keep Greece out of it. The cautious Greek 
Premier would never let his coimtry in, said the wise- 
acres, for a share in the drubbing that was coming to the 
Bulgarian and Serbian armies. They thought that Greece 
would stay neutral, and receive rectification of the Epirote 
and Macedonian frontiers and the gift of Crete for obey- 
ing the injunction of the Powers. 

The belief of the chancelleries (shared by Turkey, as 
the desperate last-minute negotiations at Athens proved) 
was due to the inability of Europe to estimate at its proper 
value the work of Venizelos in regenerating Greece during 
die two years he had been at the helm, the systematic and 
successful effort the representatives of the Powers in Tur- 
key had made to minimize the effect of the boycott, and 
the astonishing ignorance of the negotiations for the for- 


mation of a Balkan Alliance. The British press, for in- 
stance, demonstrated scientifically how the Greek navy 
would be only a mouthful for the Turks in the first en- 
counter on the sea. An English expert declared that Greece 
could never mobilize more than "a mediocre army of sev- 
enty thousand." London, Paris, Berlin, and Rome were 
virtually agreed that the Greek Government would not 
stand the test of war and that the Greek army need not 
be taken seriously. European public opinion was not in- 
formed about the fatal consequences of the boycott to 
Greek trade and did not appreciate how the Greek mer- 
chant class was standing solidly behind Venizelos. Little 
was published about the Balkan Alliance until a division 
of the spoils began to disrupt it. 

Five years later Venizelos himself confessed that the 
war broke out against his wishes. ** I sought to avoid the 
war," he said, "not because I was doubtful of our har- 
mony and complete cooperation in waging this war for the 
national rehabilitation of the Balkan States, but because 
I thought that Greece was not suflidently prepared within 
less than two years of her regeneration to wage war with 
full confidence and security." 

Conscious of the risks and responsibilities, Venizelos 
wanted to postpone the conflict in order to complete the 
internal administrative reforms and to strengthen further 
the army and navy. But when the other states would wait 


no longer, he was ready to play the game with them. The 
seed of the alliance had been laboriously sown. It must 
now bear fruit. Since no help could be expected from the 
Great Powers, the Balkan States must sink or swim to- 

The idea of a Balkan Alliance was first suggested after 
the disappointment of the Treaty of Berlin. The hope of 
realizing it was abandoned when Serbia attacked Bulgaria 
as a result of the aggrandizement of Bulgaria through the 
incorporation of. Eastern Rumelia. The project was re- 
vived in the summer of 1891, when the Greek statesman 
Tricoupis offered to ally his country with Serbia and Bul- 
garia. He frankly suggested an offensive alliance. But the 
plan fell through because the three states could arrive at 
no understanding about the division of Macedonia. This 
was the rock upon which all later efforts split. The inherit- 
ance of Macedonia made and kept bad blood between the 
three states. Bulgaria felt that if Macedonia were kept as 
a whole with an autonomous regime under Ottoman 
suzerainty, it would eventually fall to her. Greece and 
Seibia wanted to avoid this disaster to their ambitions by 
a partition. In the war of 1897 Russia and Austria-Hun- 
gary united to prevent Serbia and Bulgaria from fighting 
Turkey. Russia brought strong influence to bear to pre- 
vent Bulgaria from accepting Greek overtures, while Aus- 
tria used Rumania to intimidate Serbia. Four years later 


Austria succeeded in getting Greece and Rumania to- 
gether to oppose Bulgaria. But the compact was short- 
lived, because the Greeks tried to Hellenize the Walla- 
chian element in Macedonia. In 1905 Russian efforts to 
unite Serbia and Bulgaria in a customs imion were success- 
fully checkmated by Austria. Sultan Abdul Hamid took 
advantage of the rivalry between the Balkan States and 
the intrigues of Russia and Austria-Hungary to pit each 
Balkan element in Macedonia against the others. 

The story is too long and involved to relate here.^ It 
was a heritage of hatred and suspicion that Venizelos 
would have found it impossible to overcome had it not 
been for the common menace to all the Balkan nationali- 
ties from the Young Turk Revolution. The alternatives 
of assimilation or extermination faced the subject Christian 
races throughout the Ottoman Empire. Owing to the im- 
possibility of reconciling a constitutional regime with a 
Mohammedan theocracy, to which was added the arro- 
gance of a dominant race inacceptable to Christians and 
non-Turkish Moslems alike, assimilation failed. When 
threatened with extermination, the Macedonian peasants 
compelled the formation of the Balkan coalition. 

In the spring of 1910 Turkey decided to disarm Mace- 
donia. There had been no revolt. None was pending. The 
Macedonian cotnitadjisj as the bands of irregulars were 

^ See my New Map of Europe^ pp. 161-219. 


called, did not molest the Moslems, but rival Christian 
elements. Abdul Hamid had justly appraised the comp- 
tadjis as an aid to the maintenance of Turkish rule. Salo- 
niki was the center of the Conmiittee of Union and Prog- 
ress, however, and the Young Turks believed that the 
integrity of the Ottoman Empire demanded the subjuga- 
tion of the Christians of the province which had given 
birth to the revolution. Religious fanaticism was a means 
to accomplish a political end. The young Turks really 
had in mind the solution of the problem of preserving the 
integrity of the Ottoman Empire by making good Osman- 
lis out of all the disparate elements of Turkey. For they 
attempted to disarm Albanian and Arab coreligionists at 
the same time with Macedonian and other Christians. 

The clergy and upper classes of Macedonia, yielding to 
the pressure of the peasants, let it be known at the Balkan 
capitals that if help were not forthcoming from the Balkan 
States, the Macedonian Christians would formulate a plan 
of resistance of their own. An autonomous Macedonia, 
under the tutelage of the Power8,Vas the last thing Serbia 
and Greece wanted. For it would give Bulgaria a chance 
to repeat the coup of Eastern Rumelia. 

The best policy for Bulgaria to have followed would 
have been to insist upon an autonomous Macedonia. The 
Bulgarian racial element was the most numerous and most 
virile. In time Bulgaria might hope to annex Macedonia. 


But Bulgaria was threatened by an alliance between 
Rumania and Turkey. In fact, it was known in all the 
Balkan capitals that Rumania had offered to combine 
with the Young Turks in an attack upon Bulgaria. The 
motive that inspired Rumania was the fear of sedng 
Bulgaria grow too strong. But the same motive of pre- 
serving the balance of power in the Balkans made Greece 
and Serbia feel that the aggrandizement of Rumania and 
Turkey at the expense of Bulgaria would seal their own 
doom. If Bulgaria were crushed, their turn would come 
next. No help could be expected from the European 
Powers. The strangle hold of Young Turkey upon Mace- 
donia and Thrace would be tightened. 

It was at this moment, when the instinct of self-pres- 
ervation was preparing the way for a Balkan Alliance, 
that Venizelos became Premier of Greece. Conditions in 
Macedonia for all the Christian elements were unbearable. 
Macedonian partisans of Greece and Bulgaria and Serbia 
were coming together to face the common danger of 
Yoimg Turkey. Although Venizelos and Gueshoff, the 
Bulgarian Premier, were both determined to pursue a 
policy of conciliation with Turkey, because neither country 
was ready for war, the policy of repression in Macedonia 
forced their hand. Following the invariable custom of 
trekking when the cross replaced the crescent, Moslems 
had been emigrating from Bosnia into Macedonia. The 


Turkish Government was systematically placing these 
muhadjirs (refugees) in strategic points in Macedonia. To 
make room for them Bulgarians and Greeks were mas- 
sacred or driven from their villages. The muhadjirs^ sup* 
plied with arms and anmiimition and trained by Turkish 
officers^ began to form veritable military colonies. 

In April, 191 1> Venizelos made the first move toward 
the Balkan Alliance. He took only King George into his 
confidence. Premier GueshofF, in whose moderation and 
desire for peace Venizelos had confidence, was informed 
secretly that Greece was willing to make an agreement 
with Bulgaria for common action to force Turkey to cease 
persecution of Christians, and to negotiate a defensive 
alliance against a Turkish attack. The two Premiers were 
to do all in their power to create public opinion in their 
respective countries favorable to the eventuality of such 
an alliance. None was aware of the negotiations. But the 
first feeler in the proposed rapprochement was the Easter 
visit of Bulgarian students to Athens. I had the privilege 
of being present when the Bulgarians were received at the 
Acropolis by the students of the University of Athens, and 
attended the dinner given afterwards. These )roung men, 
representing nations that were hereditary enemies, had 
no knowledge of the proposed alliance. But they were 
conscious of the conunon danger that dictated burying 
the hatchet, and their toasts foreshadowed the approach- 


ing comradeship in arms. When I saw Venizelos the next 
morning he said nothing of Bulgaria. But he explained to 
me why it was vital for Greece to cultivate the friendship 
of Turkey! 

During the summer of 191 1> although Venizelos and 
GueshofF never missed a chance to emphasize the cordial- 
ity of Greco-Bulgarian official relations and to foster a 
better understanding between the two peoples, little 
progress was made toward an alliance. The Bulgarian 
Minister at Athens sent encouraging reports to Sofia of 
the naval and military improvement effected by the 
British and French instructors. But Gueshoff, not having 
much faith in the strength and resources of Greece, and 
afraid that the Cretan question and the boycott might 
involve Greece in war at any moment, did not want to 
commit himself. While waiting, he smoothed the path for 
the alliance by inducing the Bulgarian Parliament to vest 
in the Crown the power of making treaties. Gueshoff had 
no faith in the possibility of "open covenants openly 
arrived at." 

The Balkan Alliance was hastened by the war between 
Italy and Turkey, which broke out at the end of Septem- 
ber, 191 1. Italy had a limited objective, the seizure of the 
detached province of Tripoli in Africa. By encouraging 
the Balkan States to declare war on Turkey, Italy could 
have aided in the emancipation of the Balkans while bring- 


ing her own war to a speedy conclusion. But Italy over- 
estimated the military strength of Turkey. She was 
also at one with the other Great Powers in desiring to 
avoid a Balkan conflagration, fearing that Europe would 
become involved. It was a commonplace of European 
diplomacy, the truth of which was practically demon- 
strated, that a change of the status quo of the Balkans 
would lead to a European war. For national as well as 
international reasons Italy was determined that her war 
with Turkey should have no repercussion in the Balkans. 
A Groalor Serbia would menace her Adriatic aspirations, 
and a Greater Q r^ce her Mediterranean aspirations. 
Far-sighted statesmenv like San Giuliano and Giolitti 
looked beyond the populat cry of delenda est Austria to the 
aftermath. They feared oan-Slav^^ m more than pan- 
Germanism. The Triple Alliance was not "imnatural" 
from the standpoint of the statesmen who put coal and 
commerce and the Slav peril over against the existence of 
Italia irredenta. 

So Italy of her own initiative assured the other Powers 
that her policy would be "hands off in the Balkans," and 
sat hard upon the enthusiasm of the father-in-law of her 
king. When King Nicholas of Montenegro suggested that 
the Balkan States mobilize against Turkey, he received 
intimations that such a mad act would not be tolerated or 
supported. Italy limited her efforts at first to Tripoli. 


When the Turks proved more recaldtrant than she had 
expected^ the Dodecanese was seized and naval pressure 
brought to bear. The Balkans were sedulously kept out 
of the calculations. 

But a long-drawn-out war proved demoralizing for 
Turkey. The Balkan statesmen, who followed internal 
events in the Ottoman Empire much more closely than 
the statesmen of Europe, were encouraged by the mili- 
tary weakness demonstrated in the efforts to put down 
rebellions in Albania and Arabia. On February 2, 191 2, 
the heirs-apparent of the Balkan States gathered in Sofia 
to celebrate Prince Boris's birthday. Prince Danilo 
brought to the gathering a renewed suggestion from Mon- 
tenegro for the formation of a defensive alliance. It was 
agreed to in principle, and the terms left for statesmen to 
negotiate by direct understandings. 

Because the Serbo-Bulgarian Treaty preceded the 
Greco-Bulgarian Treaty it was generally supposed that 
the Balkan Alliance was initiated at Sofia. The delay of 
Greece in declaring war and the non-participation of 
Greece in the first armistice seemed to confirm the notion, 
current at the moment, that Venizelos was playing a lone 
hand, and that his policy was dictated by opportunism. 
To a certain extent every statesman is an opportunist, 
and during the long negotiations Venizelos was not more 
so than Gueshoff. But Venizelos had more powerful mo- 


tives to put off the test of arms than had the Bulgarian, 
Serbian, and Montenegrin premiers. The Greek army 
was not as ready, and the risks to Greece were far greater 
than to her neighbors. Greece had a long and exposed 
coastline and the islands to think of. A single naval re- 
verse might have proved fatal. The sacrifices of the war 
would fall immediately upon Greek shipping and Greek 
goods in Ottoman ports. Venizelos, too, always kept in 
mind the millions of unredeemed Greeks at the mercy of 
the Turks. 

Venizelos was the father of the alliance. He was con- 
vinced that it was essential to the salvation of all the 
Balkan States. But he did not feel justified in definitely 
binding Greece to Bulgaria until Bulgaria and Serbia had 
come to an understanding. There was nothing timorous in 
this attitude. Venizelos simply looked facts in the face. 
Then, too, an understanding between Serbia and Greece, 
the other link in the chain, could not be negotiated imtil 
Serbia knew just how she stood with Bulgaria. The com- 
plications and delays that inevitably arose in direct pour^ 
parlers between four rival states, each having to com- 
promise with the other three, were increased by the con- 
stant interference of Russia and Austria-Hungary, who 
used the Balkan States as pawns against each other in a 
game of which influence in the Balkans was by no means 
the whole of the stake. 


The SerboBulgarian defensive alliance against Turkey- 
was signed on March 13, I9i2, It was Serbia who insisted 
upon a definite division of the spoils in Macedonia. Three 
zones were marked out, one for Serbia, one for Bulgaria, 
and the third to be left to the arbitration of the Czar of 
Russia. Albania and Thrace were not mentioned. The 
treaty was signed by the sovereigns of the two states. An 
annex, added two months later, stipulated the respective 
military contributions and the distribution of the forces. 
But this was later canceled. When the success of the 
Serbo-Bulgarian negotiations was assured, GueshofF sent 
a message to Venizelos, the tenor of which proved that the 
Bulgarian and Greek premiers understood each other, and 
that GueshofF did not think that Venizelos had been hold- 
ing back imduly or had not yet made up his mind. 

GueshofF used as messenger J. D. Bourchier, the veteran 
London Times correspondent, who was an old friend of 
Venizelos.^ Bourchier was an Englishman of liberal and 
constructive mind who during thirty years had accom- 

^ I am glad to acknowledge my indebtedness throughout this chapter to 
Mr. J. D. Bourchier, the veteran correspondent of the London Times in 
the Balkan peninsula. The most accurate and illuminating account of the 
formation of the Balkan Alliance is found in six letters written by Mr. 
Bourchier, which appeared in the Times, June 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, and 16, 1913. 
Mr. Bourchier told me that he had never found time to work these over 
for publication in book form, so they can be consulted only in the Times 
file for 1913. In talking about the Balkan Alliance, Premier Venizelos has 
more than once referred me to these letters. He assured me that they con* 
tained the facts, which he believed were not available in any other source. 


plished the unique feat of writing accurately about Balkan 
affairs without fear or prejudice. Despite the seemingly 
insurmoimtable difficulties, which none knew better than 
he, Bourchier believed that it was possible for the Balkan 
States to unite to free themselves at the same time from 
bondage to the Great Powers and to Turkey. He carried 
to Venizelos the following verbal commxmication: "Our 
relations with Greece are excellent, but we wish to 
strengthen them and render them more . intimate. We 
consider that the proposals made to us through your 
agency furnish a suitable basis for this agreement, and we 
should be glad if the Greek Government would now tran&> 
mit them to us through its Minister, M. Panas." Panas 
had been Greek Minister at Sofia during the trying sum- 
mer of 1910, and was liked by the Bulgarians. Venizelos 
took the opening, and began negotiations with the Bui- 
garian Prime Minister through Panas alone. 

The Greco-Bulgarian Treaty, signed by Panas and 
Gueshoff at Sofia on May 29, 1912, provided for a de- 
fensive alliance to remain in force for three years and to 
be kept secret, on the following terms: If one of the two 
states is attacked by Turkey, the other will declare war 
against Turkey; both states are to act jointly in relations 
with Turkey and the Great Powers, and agree to make 
joint representations to the Sublime Porte for the pro- 
tection and defense of Greek and Bulgarian Ottoman 


subjects. In an aimex, however, the alfiance was dedared 
not to be operative in case of a war arising between Greece 
and l\irke3r over the admissicm of Cretans to the Greek 
Chamber of Deputies. 

During the sununer of 191 2 encouraging progress was 
made in working out a plan of action for the Greek and 
Bulgarian military forces in conjuncdon with the Greek 
navy. Fortunately the latter was so indispensable that 
Greece did not have to swallow her pride in discussing 
the military side of the probable war or to admit that 
Bulgaria was making the larger contribution. The mil- 
itary convention was signed on September 25, 1912. 
Bulgaria undertook to place 300,000 and Greece 120,000 
men in the field in the initial mobilization, and keep these 
forces constantly replenished. The Greek fleet was to cut 
off communications between Asia Minor and European 
Turkey. Owing to the protected bridge across the Bos- 
phonis, the intervention of the Greek fleet would not have 
been vital had Asia \finor been provided with an ade- 
quate railway system. But only one line led to Con- 
stantinople, and the oormection with Smyrna was round- 
about. Turkey's only means of throwing an Anatolian 
army quickly into Macedonia or Thrace was by sea. 

No definite plan of campaign was provided for in the 
Greco-Bulgarian convention. Each General Staff was to 
decide upon its own plan of campaign, keeping the other 


informed daily as to movements of troops. Bulgaria ex- 
pected to remain on the defensive in Thrace, and send a 
/large partjof her army into Macedonia. Her astounding 
successes and the easy conquest of Thrace had much to do 
with the tragic events that led to the disruption of the 

It is interesting to note that between Greece and Serbia 
there was no need of a formal treaty to adjust territorial 
differences. From the Serbo-Bulgarian Treaty it was 
agreed that in case of success Bulgaria would be Greece's 
neighbor in the north. Whatever adjustments were called 
for would have to be made by Greece and Serbia with 
Bulgaria and not with each other. In the military effort, 
also, direct Greek and Serbian cooperation, independent 
of Bulgaria, was not anticipated. 

An agreement, however, had to be made between 
Montenegro and Serbia to complete the links of the al- 
liance. Ring Nicholas had been an early and active ad- 
vocate of a Balkan imderstanding. It was he who pro- 
posed to the other states taking advantage of the Italian 
declaration of war, and through his son. Prince Danilo, 
he raised the question again in February, 191 2. Defensive 
arrangements, without a written treaty, were concluded 
with Bulgaria in April and with Greece in June. A formal 
treaty of alliance was signed with Serbia in September 
regulating the modus operandi of the armies in the ap- 



proaching war. The General Staffs were to act separately^ 
and friction was to be eliminated by designating the 
Turkish villages each army was to occupy in event of a 
Turkish retreat. 

The stage was set. Only a meek Sublime Porte could 
have avoided war. At the last moment, when the storm 
was about to break, the statesmen of Europe, refusing to 
believe that a miracle was going to take place, attempted 
to intimidate Venizelos and his colleagues of the Balkan 
Alliance. On October 8, 191 2, the six Great Powers author- 
ized the Ministers of Austria-Hungary and Russia to pre- 
sent a joint note at Athens, Sofia, Belgrade, and Cettinje, 
calling attention to the fact that reforms in Macedonia 
were provided for in Article XXIII of the Treaty of Ber- 
Jin, and promising to enforce that article. The note ended 
with an undisguised threat. Said the Powers: 

"If, despite this note, war does break out between the 
Balkan States and the Ottoman Empire, we shall not 
admit, at the end of the conflict, any modification of the 
territorial status quo in European Turkey.^' 

Apologists of European diplomacy have since main- 
tained that the joint note was intended to protect the 
Balkan States in case Turkey was victorious. If this be 
true, it demonstrates the ignorance of the Powers both of 
Balkan diplomatic and military preparations and of Tur- 
key's weakness as revealed in the Albanian and Hauran 


rebellions. If, on the other hand, it was simply a bluff to 
dampen the bellicose ardor of the Balkan peoples by warn- 
ing them that they were to gain nothing even if victorious, 
it failed of its purpose. Balkan statesmen knew as well as 
Turkish statesmen that "the concert" of the Powers was 
a fiction. 

Hell had been paved with good intentions for thirty-odd 
years. The work of Venizelos stood the test of pressure 
from the outside. Within a month the Balkan States, 
relying solely upon themselves, upset forever "the terri- 
torial sUUus quo of European Turkey." 




I ^^T^ Balkan statesman outside of Monten^ro wel« 
JL ^ corned war with Turkey in the autumn of 1912. 
The Bulgarian and Serbian Premiers were as anxious to 
avoid hostilities as was Venizelos. The Turkish army 
was highly rated by Balkan military authorities. Balkan 
statesmen were mutually afraid of one another's possible 
successes and their own possible failures. As we have seen, 
the terms of the alliances did not settle definitely the divi- 
sion of territories in case of victory, and the bases of mili- 
tary cooperation were far from satisfactorily arranged. If 
the war could have been avoided, Greece, Bulgaria, and 
Serbia would have been glad to accept a compromise. But 
the Macedonian massacres of the summer of 191 2 had em- 
bittered Bulgarians and Serbians, while the Greeks were 
aroused over persecutions in Thrace and Asia Minor and 
over the boycott. In Balkan countries the connection be- 
tween the redeemed and unredeemed elements of the race 
is very close. In the Balkan States everybody knew what 
was going on in Macedonia and Thrace. The Balkan 
Cabinets yielded to the pressure of public opinion when 


they refused to accept the suggestions in the note of the 
Great Powers of October 8. Montenegro had declared war 
oaTurkey on the same day. It is doubtful if Venbselos or 
his colleagues could have prevented war after this act, 
except through the backing-down of Turkey. 

On October 13 Greece^ Bulgaria, and Serbia informed 
the Powers that they themselves intended to take up the 
matter of reforms directly with Turkey, and were going 
to request of the Ottoman Government that it accord 
"without delay the reforms that have been demanded, 
and that it promise to apply them in six months, with the 
help of the Great Powers, and of the Balkan States whose 
interests are involved.'* The time had passed when the 
Balkan States were content to leave their interests in the 
hands of the Powers. True to their word, and refusing to 
listen to the last-minute remonstrances of the Ministers 
of the Powers at Athene, Sofia, and Belgrade, the three 
states sent the ultimatiun to Turkey on October 14. They 
asked for a response within forty-eight hours to the follow- 
ing demands : autonomy of the European provinces of the 
Ottoman Empire; occupation of the provinces by Balkan 
armies while the refonQS were being applied; indemnity 
for their mobilization as a result of the Ottoman mobiliza- 
tion of September 30; the immediate demobilization of the 
Turkish army; and the promise that the reforms would be 
effective within six months. 


The ultimatum was tantamount to a declaration of war. 
The Turkish Ministers at Allied capitals refused even 
to transmit it to their Government. The Sublime Pgrte 
made no direct answer^ but endeavored to get the Powers 
to intervene^ and offered concessions to each state sepBr 
rately to detach it from the alliance. The Turks attempted 
to negotiate directly with Sofia on the basis of a cessation 
of Moslem immigration into Macedonia and the suspen- 
sion of enrollment of Macedonian Christians in Moham- 
medan regiments. Bulgaria referred Turkey to the ulti- 
matum of the day before. 

On October 15 fighting began on the Serbo-Turkish 
frontier. Diplomatic efforts at Belgrade were useless. The 
Sublime Porte wired its peace delegates who were confer- 
ring with the Italians at Ouchy in Switzerland to sign the 
treaty demanded by Italy, giving up Tripoli, the last 
Ottoman province in Africa. When the forty-eight hours 
expired the Balkan States made no sign. But the Serbians 
were already fighting and the Bulgarians crossed the 
Thracian frontier. To preserve her dignity Turkey de- 
clared war on Bulgaria and Serbia on the morning of 
October 18. 

At Athens, however, the Turks still hoped to save the 
day. They interpreted the speech of Venizelos to the 
Cretan deputies and his silence since the ultimatimi was 
delivered as encouraging signs. The Turkish Minister was 


authorized to offer Crete to Greece and to promise an 
autonomous government to some of the iEgean Islands. 
He was told to do the impossible to avoid a diplomatic 
rupture, and to remain at his post even if Turkey declared 
war on Bulgaria and Serbia. How the tables had turned 
in a few brief weeks ! At the beginning of September, 
Ghalib Bey had scorned the offer of Venizelos to pay a 
small tribute for Crete in exchange for allowing the Cretan 
deputies to sit in the Greek Chamber. Before the middle 
of October, Ghalib Bey had become a suppliant. 

Venizelos waited eight hours for the declaration of war. 
Then he sunmioned the Turkish Minister and asked him 
what was the cause of the delay. Ghalib Bey answered 
that he had no instructions to declare war on Greece. 
Turkey wanted to remain at peace with Greece. Venizelos 
cut short the interview. "You will receive your passports 
immediately," he said. "You put it up to us. Because 
you have declared war on the allies of Greece, Greece 
automatically declares war on you." 

When war broke out Bulgaria had 300,000 men mobil- 
ized, most of whom were massed in three armies on the 
Turkish frontier. The offensive movement in Thrace, in 
which the bulk of the Turkish army would be met, was to 
be undertaken solely by Bulgaria. Only a Bulgarian army 
of j^econdary importance was to enter Macedonia, to pro- 
tect the flank of the main Bulgarian army from a sudden 


eastward march of the Tmrkiah Macedonian anny> Incase 
of aTurkish collapse the Greeks intended to suggest Seres 
as an objective of this army. But the Bulgarians intended 
to demand a joint occupation of Sakmiki. No definite 
plan of cooperation in Macedonia had been agreed upon. 
In fact, although much has been written to the contrary, 
I have reason to believe that the question of a joint mili- 
tary prpgranmie in Macedonia, in event of sudden and 
complete victories in Thrace, had not been broached by 
either General Staff. Venizebs and Gueshoff both realized 
the necessity of letting sleeping dogs lie. Suffident unto 
the day would be the evil thereof. 

Serbia and Greece were expected to put about 150,000 
troops each into the field. They were to cut oft' the Turkish 
army in Albania and Epirus, and keep the Turkish forces 
in Macedonia from falling upon the Bulgarians advancing 
southward through Thrace. 

In two brilliant battles, at Kirk Kilisse on October 23 
and Lule Burgas from October 29 to 31, the Bulgarians 
put to rout the Turkish armies in Thrace. Ten days after 
the war started, the Turks began to fall back upon the 
defensive positions of Constantinople. Leaving an army 
to invest Adrianople, General Savoff pushed on after the 
Turks with the bulk of his forces. In a fortnight he had 
repaired the railway, brought up his supplies and siege 
guns, and on November 17 began the attack of the Tcha- 


taldja line of fortifications, extending from the Sea of Mar- 
mora to the Black Sea twenty miles inland from Constanti- 
nople. What was left of the Turkish army in Thrace had 
in the meantime been thrown back into the Gallipoli 
peninsula and bottied up there by the Bulgarians. 

General Savoff had hardly developed his attack, which 
would probably have resulted in the capture of Constanti- 
nople, when he was halted by a telegram from Sofia. It 
was generally supposed that the Bulgarian Government 
was afraid of the task of occupying Constantinople or that 
the Powers^ at the instance of Russia, interposed their 
veto. But the real reason was the success of Bulgaria's 
allies in Macedonia, as rapid, as startling, as complete as 
her own in Thrace. 

The Third Serbian Army expelled the Turks from Novi 
Bazar, so long coveted by Serbia, in five days. In the same 
time the Second Serbian Army occupied Pristina, which 
gave them control of the railway from Uskub to the con- 
fines of the Sandjak of Novi Bazar. The First Army, 
under the command of Crown Prince Alexander, routed 
the Turks in a three days' battie at Kimianova, and en- 
tered Uskub on October 26. In an inunediate and brilliant 
advance the Turks were driven back to Monastir, where 
an army of 40,000 surrendered to the Serbians on Novem- 
ber 18. 

The Greeks sent a small army into Epirus with Janina 


as the objective. The bulk of their forces were led into 
Thessaly by Crown Prince Constantine. They crossed the 
frontier without resistance, fou^t a sharp combat at 
Elassona on October 19, in which they stood admirably 
under fire, and threw the army of Tahsin Pasha back upon 
Monastir. The Turks, unable to retreat up the Vardar 
because of the defeat of Zekki Pasha by the Serbians, fell 
back on Saloniki. The rear-guard actions were no more 
than skinnishes. The only real battle of the Greek cam- 
paign was fought at Yenidje on November 3. But even 
there the Turks did not put up the same sort of a battle 
as against the Bulgarians at Lule Burgas and against the 
Serbians at Kimianova. And the Turks made no effort 
to defend Saloniki, although the commandant had 30,000 
soldiers and plenty of mimitions. On November 9 the 
Turkish army in Saloniki capitulated. 

Victories of this sweeping character were too much for 
the Balkan statesmen to pilot the alliance safely through. 
Before comradeship in arms was a month old the dissolu- 
tion of the alliance was in sight. Military necessity led the 
Serbians to Monastir, the possession of which was one of 
the principal war aims of Bulgaria and was conceded to 
Bulgaria in the Serbo-Bulgarian agreement. Nor could 
the Greeks be blamed for making hay while the sim shone 
and seizing the opportunity to occupy Saloniki as a city 
of unredeemed Greece. 


General Theodoroff, commanding the Bulgarian Expe- 
ditionary Corps for Macedonia, whose mission was to 
engage the portion of the Turkish Fifth Army which was 
stationed in the valleys of the Mesta and the Struma to 
prevent it from assembling and making a flank movement 
against the main Serbian and Bulgarian armies, was with 
out a job after the first few days. When he realized the 
demoralization of the Turks and heard that the Greeks 
were approaching Saloniki with no more serious opposition 
than that which confronted him, he marched his column 
toward Saloniki, reinforced by the notorious Sandansky 
with his Macedonian comitadjis. The Bulgarian Princes 
Boris and Cyril joined him. The cowardice or corruption 
of Tahsin Pasha made them too late to take part in the 
negotiations for the surrender of the city. But they en- 
tered Saloniki on the loth at the same time as the army 
of Crown Prince Constantine. Sandansky and his comu 
tadjis hurried to the principal ancient church of the city, 
for over four hundred years the Saint Sophia of Saloniki, 
and placed the Bulgarian flag in the minarets before the 
Greeks knew that they had been outwitted. When the 
Greek Crown Prince discovered that the Bulgarian Crown 
Prince was also on hand, he sent a telegram to Athens. 
On November 12 King George of Greece arrived on a 
destroyer and took up his residence in Saloniki. 

In less than six weeks of fighting the Balkan allies had 


swept from the field all the IXirkish fbroes in Europe. 
What wa8 left of the Turkish armies was cooped up in 
Constantinqpley Adrianople, Gallipoli, Janina, and Scu- 
tari. Except at Constantinqple and Gallipdi they were 
besieged, and could expect ndther reinforcements nor food 
supplies. The Greek fleet had conveyed landing parties to 
LenmoSy Thasos, Imbros^ Samothrace, Nikaria, NCtylene, 
Chios, Samos, and the lesser islands. Only the temporaiy 
title given to Italy by the Treaty of Ouchy prevented the 
occupation of the Dodecanese. Admiral Koundouriotis 
bkx:ked the Dardanelles. 

The state of mind of the Bulgarians, whidi was to be- 
come aggravated in the months ahead and lead them into 
the abyss, can well be ima^ned. They had done no better 
work than their allies. Serbians and Montenegrins had 
fought as courageously and as brilliantly. If the Greeks 
had not been put to the test on land, that was not their 
fault. None could say that they would not have consented 
to as heavy sacrifices as Bulgarians and Serbians, had they 
been called upon to make them. And the Greek fieet was 
an essential factor in the success of the allies, a contribu- 
tion not to be underestimated in apportioning the credit 
for the debdcU of Turkey. But the Greeks had solved the 
Cretan question, liberated the iEgean Islands, and the 
Greeks and the Serbians had been fortunate in fighting in 
the regions of European Turkey which they desired to 


annex. The Bulgarians, on the other hand, were occupy- 
ing conquered territory the possession of which was not 
a war aim. They had gone into the war, and had fought 
the Turks to liberate the Bulgarians in Macedonia, not 
to become masters of the heterogeneous population of 
Thrace, largely non-Bulgarian. With the Serbians in 
Monastir and the valley of the Vardar and the Greeks in 
the port of Macedonia and spreading back into the hinter- 
land, the Bulgarians at Tchataldja felt that they were 
holding the sack. They did not want Constantinople and 
were not disposed to make sacrifices to take the city. But 
they did want Saloniki! 

Premiers Gueshoff and Venizelos were agreed that fric- 
tion must be avoided. Janina, with Moslem Albania be- 
hind it, was still a danger for the Greeks. The Turks were 
still in Adrianople in the rear of the main Bulgarian army. 
If the two coimtries fell out over Macedonia, the Turks 
might yet retrieve their fortunes. Serbia was in a concili- 
atory mood owing to the danger of Austro-Hungarian 
aggression. Under the circumstances, neither Greece nor 
Serbia wanted to break with Bulgaria, while Bulgarian 
public opinion was too aroused against Turkey for Bul- 
garian statesmen to contemplate and try to form the only 
combination that would have compelled Greeks and Ser- 
bians to yield the better part of Macedonia to Bulgaria. 
Venizelos, who never fails to see and consider all possible 


combinations, read the cards in Bulgaria's hand before 
Bulgaria did, and was determined to prevent a disas- 
trous voke-face. He assured Gueshoff that Greece would 
be ready for compromises when the moment arrived. 
Gueshoff, as he has since confessed, did not see the danger 
of Serbia and Greece getting together. 

So, as in the negotiations before the alliance was formed, 
even a tentative solution of the Macedonian problem on 
general lines was not attempted. The allies decided to con- 
clude an armistice, if Turkey needed it badly enough to 
agree to drastic conditions, and that Greece need not be 
party to the armistice, although she should be represented 
in peace negotiations. Venizelos wanted to prosecute the 
siege of Janina in order to protect the Epirotes against 
Moslem Albanians, and it was to the advantage of all the 
allies that Greece remain mistress of the -^gean under war 

The military disasters in the Balkans brought to the 
Grand Vizirate for the eighth time Kiamil Pasha, a cele- 
brated statesman of the old regime, who had always been 
in close relations with the British Foreign Office. Kiamil 
Pasha did not share the illusions of the Young Turks. The 
military collapse had been too complete to allow the hope 
of Turkey bettering her position by keeping up the fight. 
And Kiamil Pasha knew that neither European interven- 
tion nor the disruption of the Balkan Alliance could be 


expected until after fighting had ceased. For this reason 
Nazim Pasha, generalissimo of the Turkish army, and 
Noradounghian Effendi, Minister of Foreign AflFairs, 
agreed with the Grand Vizir that an armistice must be 
arranged, whatever the conditions. 

The armistice, signed on December 3, was an acknowl- 
edgment of Turkey's impotence. Just to give one in- 
stance of the humiliating stipulations, Bulgaria was to 
revictual her army in front of Constantinople by the rail- 
way which passed under the guns of Adrianople, while 
that fortress remained without food. The peace delegates 
were to meet in London. 

At London the Balkan States demanded the cession of 
European Turkey, except Albania and the tip of Thrace 
containing Constantinople and the Gallipoli peninsula. 
Crete and all the islands of the iEgean were to be given 
up. The boundaries of Albania and its future status were 
to be decided by the Powers. 

Turkey, with her army demoralized, with no diplomatic 
aid in sight from Europe, and unable to raise money 
abroad or at home, tried for a month to postpone the 
inevitable in the hope that the allies would fall out with 
one another. The hope was vain. The Greek army was 
fortunately still occupied in Epirus, so it was not hard for 
Venizelos to avoid friction with the Bulgarians in Mace- 
donia. Scutari in Albania kept the Montenegrins immo- 


bilized. The Bulgarians were nxMinldng goard at Tdia- 
taldja before Constantuipple^ at Bulalr before Gallipoli, 
and around Adrianople. The Sexbians were helping the 
Montenegrins at Scutari and the Bulgarians at Adrianople. 
Serbia was watching anxiously Austria-Hungary. Bul- 
garia was threatened by Rumania. Rumania, in turn, 
feared Russia. 

Kiamil Pasha, despite the damor of the Young l\irics, 
knew that the cards were stacked against the Ottoman 
Empire. In an interview which he asked me not to pub- 
lish, the Grand Vizir expressed himself frankly and un- 
hesitatingly as to the hopelessness of continuing the war. 
"It is because of the Young Turk visionaries/' he said, 
"that we are in our present humiliating position. They 
cry out now that we must not accept peace, but they know 
well that we are powerless to win back any portion of what 
we have lost.*' 

On January 22 Kiamil Pasha telegraphed to London, 
directing the Turkish commissioners to consent to the 
surrender of Adrianople and the other fortresses which 
were still holding out, and to make peace by ceding the 
Ottoman territories in Europe beyond a line running from 
Enos on the ^gean Sea, at the mouth of the Maritza 
River, to Midia on the Black Sea. The Balkan States 
were ready to accept this compromise and to waive an 
indemnity. But the conclusion of peace was thwarted by 


the Young Turks. Under Enver Bey, they made a coup 
ieUA at Constantinople. Nazim Pasha was assassinated, 
Kiamil Pasha sent into exile, and Mahmoud Shevket 
Pasha became Grand Vizir with the progranmie of guerre 
a outrance. 

On January 29 the allies denounced the armistice, and 
set themselves to reduce Adrianople, Janina, and Scutari. 
In each case it would have been possible simply to sit and 
wait, as the Turks had not the ghost of a chance of reliev- 
ing the fortresses. But the Greeks, smarting under the 
charge that they had done their part on land with little 
eflFort or sacrifice, determined to take Janina by storm. 
The worst of the winter was not yet over, but plans were 
made to increase the forces which had been virtually in- 
active since the siege began. When the Crown Prince 
arrived, he planned to capture the most troublesome forts 
and from them to make untenable the formidable hills 
which conmianded the city. The Greeks fought with skill 
and courage. Position after position was taken until the 
city was at the mercy of the artillery. Essad Pasha sur- 
rendered on March 5. The Crown Prince returned to 
Saloniki in triumph. A few days later the assassination of 
King George by a fanatic made him King. This made 
much more difficult the task Venizelos had set for himself 
throughout the winter of keeping oil poured on troubled 
waters. Constantine had become the idol of his troops, 


and the military party, whose influence was greatly in- 
ferior to that of Venizelos while King George was alive, 
began to cause the Premier sleepless nights. Venizelos 
found himself in the position of Bismarck after the battle 
of Koniggratzl 

After the fall of Janina the Bulgarian General Staff 
realized that it was essential to force the capitulation of 
Adrianople or to take the city by assault. They were in an 
unenviable position. The bulk of their forces had to be 
kept before Constantinople and Gallipoli. Neither the 
Tchataldja nor Bulair lines were worth the cost of forcing. 
For Bulgaria did not want, and could not hope to keep, 
Constantinople or Gallipoli. But if the Bulgarians had left 
either of these lines, where their armies had passed in- 
actively a hard winter, the Turks could have overrun 
Thrace again. ^ , 

Since the beginning of the war, by geographicajfljll-luci] 
the Bulgarians had been making the greatest contribution 
to the common cause, while their allies were gathering in 
as liberators regions upon which the heart of the Bulgari- 
ans was set. They could not even give themselves the sat- 
isfaction of carrying on the operations at Adrianople alone. 
A Serbian army aided in the assault. Bulgarians and Ser- 
bians cut their way with scissors through the tangle of 
barbed wire. The forts fell one after the other. Czar 
Ferdinand entered the city with his troops on March 26. 


Shukri Pasha, following the old policy of the Turks, which 
had been successful for centuries in the Balkan peninsula, 
tried to surrender to the Serbian general, who was too loyal 
to discipline to fall into this trap. But the Serbian news- 
papers began to say that it was really the Serbian army 
which had captured the dty, and that Shukri Pasha recog- 
nized this fact when he sent to find the Serbian commander. 
An unedifying duel of newspapers began between Belgrade 
and Sofia, which showed that the material for conflagra^ 
tion was ready. 

• The Serbians were fortunate also in being able to coop-^ 
crate with the Montenegrins in the siege of Scutari. But 
in February, shortly after the war was resumed, the 
Tiu-kish commandant at Scutari was assassinated and re- 
placed by Essad Pasha, who continued the resistance in 
the name of Albania. At the instance of Austria-Himgary 
and Russia the Powers decided to intervene in Albania, 
and ordered the Balkan allies to withdraw from before 
Scutari. Fearing international complications the Serbians 
abandoned the siege. Nine days later Essad Pasha sur- 
rendered Scutari to King Nicholas. The Turkish flag had 
ceased to wave in European Turkey outside of Gallipoli 
and Constantinople. The war was over whether the 
Yoimg Turks would have it so or not. 

The Great Powers had long been awaiting an oppor- 
tunity to mediate. On March 23 they proposed the fol- 


lowing basis for renewal of the negodatioos at Lonckm: 

'^i. A frontier line from Enos to ^4Sdia, which would 
follow the course of the Maritza, and the ceswm to the 
Allies of all the territories west of that line» with the 
exception of Albania, whose status and frontiers would be 
decided upon by the Powers. 

'^2. Decision by the Powers of the questicm of the 
.^gean Islands. 

"3. Abandonment of Crete by IVirkey. 

'^4. Arrangement of all financial questions at Paris by 
an international commission, in which the representatives 
of Turkey and the allies would be allowed to sit. Partid- 
pation of the allies in the Ottoman Debt, and in the finan- 
cial obligations of the territories newly acquired. No 
indemnity of war, in principle. 

''5. End of hostilities immediately after the acceptance 
of this basis of negotiations." 

After a month of negotiations, the Balkan States agreed 
to accept the mediation of the Powers, but only after 
Venizelos had carried his point that the iEgean Islands 
were to be ceded directly to the Balkan States and were 
not to form a subject of discussion with the Powers. They 
refused also to relinquish the possibility of an indenmity. 
Hostilities ceased. 

When negotiations were reopened in London on May 20, 
Venizelos represented Greece. After ten days the peace 
preliminaries were agreed upon and signed. The Sultan 
of Turkey ceded to the kings of the allied states his domin- 
ions in Europe beyond the Enos-Midia line and Crete. To 


the Great Powers he left the decision as to the status and 
frontiers of Albania^ the islands in the i£gean Sea, and 
Mount Athos. 

The peace preliminaries of London were never tran- 
scribed into a formal treaty. For war broke out between 
the allies. This enabled Turkey to save Adrianople and 
most of Thrace. But the dissolution of the alliance came 
several months too late to prevent any of the Balkan 
States, except Bulgaria, from profiting to the full from the 
victory over Turkey. 




THE collapse of Turkey was too complete for the 
maintenance of the sdidarity of the Balkan Confed- 
eracy, just as the collapse of the Central En4>ires proved 
later too ccnnplete for the maintenance of the solidarity of 
the Entente Alliance- Secret treaties for sharing spoils do 
not stand the test of too much and une3q>ected qxxlsy once 
the emergency which drives nations into a coalition no 
longer exists. Whether the Balkan allies could have set- 
tled their territorial aspirations amicably if Italy and 
Austria-Hungary had not made the frontiers of Albania a 
question that necessitated the intervention of the Powers 
is problematical. But when the Balkan States were nego- 
tiating a treaty with Turkey in the spring of 191 3 it was 
already clear that Bulgaria refused to consider the attri- 
bution of Thrace to her an argument for moderating her 
claims in Macedonia, or for consenting to rectify her fron- 
tier with Rumania. 

Venizelos, however, keeping his mind on the goal of 
emancipating unredeemed Greeks from Turkish rule, was 
willing to go the limit in concessions to Bulgaria and to 


compensate Serbia for yielding to Bulgaria by a remark- 
ably generous waiving of some Greek aspirations. As we 
have seen, the menace of a disruption of the alliance ap- 
peared before the end of the first month of the common 
war against Turkey. Bulgarians, regulars and irregulars, 
raced to reach Saloniki on the day of the Greek entrance. 
Crown Prince Boris attempted to share with Crown Prince 
Constantine the trimnphal entry into that city. The 
comitadjis installed themselves in the Saint Sophia of 
Saloniki, and Bulgarian clergy reconsecrated the ancient 
church. General TheodoroflF established headquarters in 

the big port of Macedonia independent of the Greek com- 

( . 

mand. This anomalous situation lasted throughout the 
winter and spring, and was tolerated by Venizelos, who 
hoped to avoid a break. 

Two factors, which one nught almost call fatalities, 
worked against the efforts of Venizelos and Gueshoff to 
keep the peace. The traditional hostility between Bul- 
garians and Greeks, never more bitter than during the 
thirty years following the Treaty of Berlin, had been 
temporarily allayed only by the necessity of combining 
forces against the Young Turk peril. After the fall of 
Janina and Adrianople, the danger that made the coalition 
possible and maintained it no longer existed. Both nations 
in arms had tasted military success, and the militaiy 
leaders were little disposed to listen to the plans of com- 


promise suggested by their statesmen. The second factor 
was the intervention of the Powers in Albania, which de- 
prived Serbia of an outlet to the Adriatic, and made 
Macedonia the only possible field of territorial gain for 
Serbia. Hie quarrel over the division of Macedonia thus 
became triangular. Neither Greece nor Serbia alone was 
powerful enough to have refused the demand of Bulgaria 
to e3ctend her frontiers across the valley of the Vardar. 
Standing together, Serbia and Greece felt they were in a 
position to ask Bulgaria to consider expansion in Thrace 
as compensation for concessions in Macedonia. Greek 
chauvinists used the argument of Serbian aid against the 
desire of Venizelos, who looked to the future, to come to a 
peaceful understanding with Bulgaria. 

Later, Venizelos defended himself in the Greek Chamber 
against the accusation of his enemies that he had been too 
conciliatory to Bulgaria in the spring of 191 3. He revealed 
the fact that when he asked for advice as to the chances 
of victory if Greece and Serbia combined to resist the 
Bulgarian demand, the Greek General Staff answered that 
they were sixty per cent only in favor of Serbo-Greek coali- 
tion. Venizelos had other considerations than that of mili- 
tary risks in wanting to avoid war with Bulgaria. He was 
worried about the possibility of Austro-Himgarian inter- 
vention against Serbia, which was as probable as Rxmia- 
nian intervention against Bulgaria, and he feared an 


Italian occupation of southern Albania, which would in- 
volve Epiras, He told me that he believed the preserva- 
tion of the Balkan Federation was worth the sacrifice of 
ten thousand square kilometers to Bulgaria. If later it was 
demonstrated that Bulgaria was deliberately seeking the 
hegemony of the Balkans, Greece and Serbia would be in 
a better position to resist the faithless ally, and the dis- 
cussion with Turkey and Italy over the ^gean Islands 
would have been settled. 

The wise and sound statesmanship of Venizelos and his 
lofty conception of patriotism are shown by his resistance 
to the popular clamor in Greece that had assxmied serious 
proportions even before the fall of Janina and Adrianople. 
Responding to an interpellation in the Chamber on March 
15, he said: 

" I am aware that there are those who are trying to stir 
up trouble among the Greek population which without 
question will remain outside the frontiers of Greater 
Greece. I, gentlemen, who have been only a few years 
among you, have come to the conclusion that in three 
years fliere has been a tremendous change in the soul of 
the Greek people. Not every one sees it, but it is so 
great that it permits, nay, it compels, the responsible head 
of the Greek Government to tell the truth to the people. 
None of us can hope to realize all our aspirations. I trust 
that the patriotism of all the Balkan nations will be so 
lofty that public opinion will not shrink from such sac- 
rifices as will be inevitable if the partition is to insure 


the cx)ntinuance of the Alliance — even if those who see 
clearly are called traitors by fervid patriots of their own 


It was in this spirit that Venizelos went to London to 
the second peace conference with Turkey in May. He did 
not disguise his anxiety over the situation nor his desire 
to arrive at a peaceful division of the spoils. He looked 
upon the Conference of London as a possibility of settling 
moot questions with Bulgaria at the same time the terms 
with Turkey were agreed upon. He knew well that the 
Balkan questions involved vital interests and policies of 
the great European Powers. He was fully informed of 
Italian intrigues in Albania. His agents in Vienna kept 
sending him alarming letters about an impending Austro- 
Hungarian mobilization against Russia and Serbia. This 
made him feel that Rumanian intervention was imcertain. 
He believed that Greece should content herself with only 
what was indispensable in order to adjust the differences 
with Bulgaria amicably. The instinct that led Venizelos 
to fear the intervention of Austria-Hungary was justified 
by the revelation in the Italian Chamber several years 
later that Vienna had approached Rome at this time with 
the proposal that Italy should permit Austria to attack 
Serbia without regarding such an attack as disturbing the 
relations of Italy and Austria as defined by the terms of the 
Triple Alliance. 


Venlzelos was attacked many times by his opponents 
for his opposition to the Second Balkan War, After it 
had come out all right, they denied to him the honor of 
its success, "not caring," as Venizelos ruefully put it, 
"whether I had made the necessary diplomatic and mili- 
tary preparations, so that when it had been made in- 
evitable there should be every probability of the result 
being as successful as in fact it was." 

After his return to power in 1917, Venizelos explained 
why with the best will in the world he had tried to avoid 
the war with Bulgaria. He said to the Chamber: 

"Attempts have been made to make it appear that I 
alone, because I was fearful of the result, disapproved of 
this war, as opposed to the King and the General Staff, so 
that the conclusion might be drawn that all honor for the 
success of the war belonged to the King and none to the 
political chief. I am therefore obliged to declare that no 
difference ever arose between the Crown and the military 
authorities on the one hand and the Government on the 
other concerning our policy toward Bulgaria. And the 
reason why no difference of opinion arose was because 
even the military authorities were not by any means with- 
out mis^vings as to the probable result of the war at that 
time. You will understand that a responsible Minister 
had no business to hurry into a war in which the chances 
of success, even after the signature of the Serbian Alliance, 
had the narrow margin of only sixty per cent, as the Gen- 
eral Staff told me." 

Although opposed to the war, Venizelos provided for it 


and made possible the contingenqr of it by inviting to 
Saloniki the Greek Minister at Belgrade and the Serbian 
^nister at Athens, after a consultation with whom the 
terms of a secret alliance between Greece and Serbia were 
drawn up and signed. All that was known at the time of 
this alliance was the stipulation that each of the allies 
would defend by force of arms the other in the possession 
of the territories actually occupied in May, 191 3. It de- 
veloped afterwards, however, that the two countries had 
agreed upon definite frontiers with each other, and that 
they had signed an ofiFensive and defensive alliance for 
ten years. TTiis treaty was a triumph of the common sense 
and moder^tioy of Venizelos. For when frontiers were 
discussed, the Greek military party was disposed to be as 
intractable toward Serbia as was Bulgaria. The Greek 
General Staff held out for Monastir. Venizelos had to 
convince the King and the militarists that something must 
be given to Serbia. Refusal to relinquish the Greek claim 
to Monastir would have prevented the conclusion of the 
alliance, and might have resulted in the loss of Saloniki. 
Despite the terms of the alliance, the opposition of the 
Greek General Staff made such an impression on the 
Serbians that they feared treachery on the part of Greece 
in the second week of the new war, and made arrangements 
to protect Monastir to the detriment of a concerted 
invasion of Bulgaria. 


Premier Gueshoff of Bulgaria looked upon the possi- 
bility of war with the same misgivings as Venizelos and 
Pasitdi, the Serbian Premier. But he could not persuade 
the Bulgarian militarist party to agree to a conference 
proposed by the Greek and Serbian premiers at Saloniki. 
When Venizelos and Pasitch suggested the arbitration of 
the Russian Czar, Bulgaria replied that she was willing to 
arbitrate only in accordance with the terms of the treaty 
between Serbia and Bulgaria; that is, to ask the mediation 
of the Czar in the matter of one of the two zones in 

Unfortunately for Premier Gueshoff and Bulgaria, the 
terms "militarist party'* and "Macedonian party" were 
synonymous. A remarkably large proportion of the offi- 
cers in the Bulgarian army, especially those higher up, 
were of Macedonian origin, and the dispute with Greece 
and Serbia had to do with their homes. This was true also 
of the inhabitants of Sofia. High-spirited young Bul- 
garians, bom and reared in Macedonia, refused to accept 
the prospect of living their lives under the Turks, and 
emigrated in large numbers to Bulgaria during the gener- 
ation before the war. As they had no capital, and Bul- 
garia was an agricultural coimtry, they entered the pro- 
fessions, and many of them made their career in the army. 
In a nation of peasants, at the time of general mobiliza- 
tion reserve officers were recruited from professional 


classes. This gave the Macedonians a position of pre- 
ponderance in all branches of the service, and they looked 
at the issue with their allies not as a matter for com- 
promise in order to protect the interests of Bulgaria 
proper, but from a purely Macedonian point of view. In 
the dty of Sofia the merchant class was recruited largely 
from families that had been driven into exile by Turkish 
misrule and the persecution of Greek and Serbian camu 
tadjis. It will be readily seen how inflamed these powerful 
elements were. When Serbia and Greece wanted to make 
a deal with Bulgaria on the basis of compensation in 
Macedonia for Bulgarian expansion in Thrace, they saw 
red. They forced the hand of the Bulgarian Government. 

The Macedonian party looked upon the idea of the 
Petrograd conference as the betrayal of Macedonians by 
the mother country. Unable to maintain his contention 
that Bulgaria should arbitrate, GueshoflF resigned. His 
withdrawal ruined Bulgaria, for he was replaced by Daneff, 
who had proved so unreasonable in the London negotia- 
tions, and who was the heart and soul of the Macedonian 

It was not difficult for the Macedonian party to pre- 
cipitate hostilities, once Gueshoff, who had worked loyally 
with Venizelos and Pasitch, was out of the way. The 
Bulgarian General Staff, notwithstanding the caution that 
should have imposed itself upon them by the consider- 


ation of the exhausting campaign of the winter, felt 
certain of their ability to defeat the Serbians and Greeks 
combined. In fact, frontier skirmishes had begun in April. 
After numerous outbreaks Bulgarian and Greek officers 
had been compelled to establish a neutral zone in order to 
prevent a new war from breaking out automatically. 
During May and June there was frequent fighting. Mad- 
ness got into the veins of the Bulgarians. With no diplo- 
matic preparation, such as Venizelos knew how to make 
for Greece, with no assurance that Riunania would remain 
neutral or that help would come from any outside source, 
on Sunday night, June 29, without declaration of war or 
warning, General Savoff ordered a general attack all along 
the Greek and Serbian lines. 

Did the Bulgarians exp'ect that the Greeks and Serbians 
would be intimidated by this sudden attack, and would 
agree to continue the project of a conference at Petrograd, 
with the Bulgarian star in the ascendant.^ Or did they 
think that the Greek army was of so little value that they 
could brush it aside, and enter Saloniki, just as the Greeks 
had been able to enter in the previous November? What- 
ever hypothesis we adopt, it demonstrates contempt for 
their opponents and belief in their own invincibility. 

More desperate and much more costly fighting than 
occurred during the war with Turkey was crowded into the 
first two weeks of July. The Bulgarians were decisively 


defeated in the initial combats and unable to stem any- 
where the offensive come-back of their former allies.^ 

On July ID Rimtiania declared war against Bulgaria, and 
crossed the Danube. With their armies on the defensive 
and hard-pressed by Greeks and Serbians, it was im- 
possible for the Bulgarians to withdraw any men hx>m 
their western and southwestern fronts to qppose the 
Rimianian invasion. The Rumanians occupied Varna 
without fighting, on July 15, and started to march on 
Sofia. Riunania had entered the war, however, not from 
a desire to help Greece and Serbia, but for the specific 
purpose of securing an advantageous rectification of her 
frontier with Bulgaria in the Dobrudja. To see Bulgaria 
too greatly humiliated and weakened was no more to the 
interest of Rumania than to see Bulgaria triumphant. 

When Czar Ferdinand realized that if hostilities con- 
tinued, the Rimianians would occupy Sofia, he begged 
King Charles to suggest an armistice to the Greeks and 
Serbians. The Rumanian sovereign, in accord with his 
ministers, was glad to accept this opening. It was not the 
intention of the Rumanians to make an irreparable breach 
between themselves and the Bulgarians. The occupation 
of Sofia would have been an unnecessary humiliation for 
the Bulgarians and might have led to complications for 

* It 18 impossible, within the limits of this volume, to give a detailed 
description of the military operations of the Second Balkan War. I refer 
my readers to my New Map oj Europe , pp. 321-42. 


the Rumanians. One of the purposes of Rumanian inter- 
vention, the preservation of the balance of power in the 
Balkans, would have been defeated if the Bulgarians were 
too badly worsted by the other two Balkan States. So 
Charles telegraphed to Constantine, asking for the cessa- 
tion of hostilities. 

Cbnstantine showed the telegram to Venizelos, and said 
that he was willing to negotiate, but that for military 
reasons hostilities ought not to cease. Venizelos remon- 
strated strongly. He pointed out to King Constantine 
that it was extremely impolitic to refuse the mediations 
of King Charles when what was wanted above all things 
was the kindly attitude of Riunania toward Greek inter- 
ests during peace negotiations. Venizelos, moreover, did 
not share the King's optimism concerning the invasion of 
Bulgaria. He thought that it would be a very difficult 
task to reach Sofia, and that it would entail imnecessary 
bloodshed and risk, seeing that the Greek victories had 
already covered more than the territorial claims. Veni- 
zelos proposed the following answer: 

"TTiough I know Bulgarian perfidy and am not alto- 
gether sure that the request for peace is genuine and means 
an acknowledgment of defeat, I feel the duty incumbent 
upon me to accept Your Majesty's intercession, trusting 
that the Greek interests will find a just advocate in your 
Person during the negotiations for peace." 

The King did not yield at once. He seemed impervious 


to the argument that Rumania's help at the peace table 
would be precious for Greece and to the statesmanlike 
observation of Venizelos that it must be remembered that 
Rimiania had not entered the war pour les beaux yeux de la 
Grece et de la Serbie. Venizelos repeated his arguments. 
At last, seeing the King was obdurate, he said that he 
would yield if Constantine, as conmiander-in-chief of the 
army, took the responsibility of stating that "military 
reasons made the continuation of hostilities imperative.'* 
Constantine did not want to do this. He very soon had 
to admit, although with reluctance, that the policy of 
Venizelos was, as the Premier himself put it in narrating 
later this discussion, "absolutely necessary not only from 
the political and diplomatic point of view, but also from 
the purely military point of view." 

The truth of the matter is that the Greeks were getting 
into a hole. Whether they stopped where they were or 
continued to advance, they ran the risk of having the 
tables turned upon them, because the Serbians were leav- 
ing them in the lurch. The mutual jealousy and sus- 
picion of Balkan races do not permit a loyal military co- 
operation. After the battle of the Bregalnitza, which 
ended on July lo, the Serbians began to get nervous over 
the successes of their Greek allies. They feared that easy 
victories of Greeks over Bulgarians might necessitate a 
third war with Greece for Monastir. On July ii, giving 


the ostensible reason that such a measure was necessary 
to protect their rear against the Albanians, the Serbian 
General Staff had withdrawn from the front a number of 
the best regiments. They were placed in a position to act 
quickly if the Greeks attempted to seize Monastir. 

The Serbians, masters of all the territory they wanted, 
were ready for an armistice. Montenegro, whose interest 
was confined to getting from Serbia a generous portion of 
the Sandjak of Novi Bazar, had no reason for prolonging 
hostilities. The losses of the belligerents had been as heavy 
for the victors as for the vanquished, and were being ac- 
companied by atrocities of a heartrending nature. Unless 
some unquestioned political advantage was to be gained, 
the prolongation of the fighting was distinctly unwise for 
Greece. It must be remembered that Rumania had suf- 
fered no losses and had incurred no war debts in the strug- 
gle with Turkey, in which she had been neutral, and that 
her belligerency of three weeks in the Second Balkan War 
had necessitated no fighting. Every additional day of 
fighting increased the inferiority of Greece and Serbia to 
Rumania. Greece, too, could not count with certainty 
upon having settled her score with Turkey. 

Venizelos started for Bukarest. He said later to the 
Greek Chamber: 

"When I passed through Hadji-Beilik on my way to 
Bukarest, I tried once more to persuade the military 


authonties, aiding that I could see no reason for further 
operations, and that they must not forget the luipleasant 
position in which I should find myself if, on my arrival at 
Bukarest, I were imable to accept King Carol's probable 
advice about the armistice. The answer was once more 
categorical : that imder no circumstances would the mili* 
tary interests of Greece permit the conclusion of an ar- 
mistice. From Hadji-Beilik to Bukarest was a journey^ 
I think, of thirty-six hours; and it was only at Bukarest 
that I succeeded in removing objections of the General 
Staff and reconciling the views of the military and civilian 

On the afternoon of July 30 the Bulgarian delegates met 
Premiers Majorsco, Pasitch, and Venizelos at Bukarest. 
A suspension of arms for three days was agreed upon to 
begin on August i at noon. Fighting was not resumed, for 
the armistice was prolonged, and peace speedily concluded. 

Several French military critics, writing independently, 
have strikingly confirmed the judgment of Venizelos, who 
showed more acumen in forecasting the military situation 
than the Greek General Staff. On the afternoon of the 
day Venizelos unsuccessfully urged the armistice at Hadji- 
Beflik, the Bulgarians began a counter-attack against both 
wings of the Greek army. On July 29 the Greeks began 
to plan their retreat. The next day they reali2:ed that re- 
treat was no longer possible. The Bulgarians were on both 
their flanks. It was then that King Constantine tele- 
graphed to Venizelos, consenting to the armistice. Veni- 


zdos is a man of realities. He knew all along that Greece 
alone could not defeat Bulgaria. He realized the advan- 
tage of stopping the war at the flood tide of success. He 
did not want Greece to appear to be beholden either to 
Serbia or to Riunania for the victory. Had the armistice 
been concluded on July 27, military critics would not have 
had the chance to raise the question as to whether in the 
end Bulgaria could not have pulled herself out of the hole 
she was in had Rumania remained neutral. 

Unlike Turkey in the presence of the Balkan allies, 
Bulgaria in the presence of her neighbors did not deal 
with them as a coalition. It was necessary, if there was to 
be peace, that her delegates should come to an under- 
standing as to the sacrifices she was willing to make with 
each of her neighbors separately. The important decisions 
were made in conunittee meetings. The general assembly 
of delegates had little else to do than to ratify the conces- 
sions wrung from Bulgaria in turn by each of the oppo- 
nents. The factor in the situation that had made it neces- 
sary for Bulgaria to sue for peace saved Bulgaria from the 
necessity of yielding to all the demands of Serbia and 
Greece. The Bulgarians were quick to see the possibility 
of getting diplomatic support from the Rumanians. Ru- 
mania had acted as mediator to terminate the war. She 
was willing to act as mediator to prevent the peace terms 
from being too inequitable to Bulgaria. Rumania had no 


desire to see either Serbia or Greece, greatly enlarged at 
the expense of Bulgaria, become in the place of Bulgaria 
a potential Balkan rival. By acceding without discussion 
to the Rumanian demands, the Bulgarians hoped to, and 
to a large extent did, win Rumanian diplomatic support 
in the discussions with Serbia and Greece. 

What Bulgaria had to give to each of the victors was 
decided upon with astonishing rapidity. The Rumanian 
protocol was presented on August 4, the Serbian on 
August 6, and the Greek on August 7. The protocol of the 
Greeks was the only one against which the Bulgarians 
made a resolute stand. When they signed this protoccd 
they stated that they consented to the inclusion of Kavalla 
in Greek territory only because they had taken cognizance 
of the notes which Austria-Hungary and Russia presented 
to the conference, to the effect that in giving their assent 
the two Powers would reserve this particular question for 
future discussion. 

Bulgaria fared far worse at Bukarest than if she had 
agreed to the last proposal of Venizelos and Pasitch to 
submit to the Czar for arbitration the entire Macedonian 
question. It was a case of the one who took the sword 
perishing by the sword. Not only did she lose most of 
Macedonia, but Turkey, taking advantage of her embar- 
rassment, reoccupied most of Thrace, including Adrian- 
ople. The folly of Bulgaria's course is evident when we 


consider that she had a chance to purchase at a lesser price 
than she finally paid the neutrality of both Turkey and 
Rumania. Or she could have kept what she had to yield 
to Turkey and Rumania by compromising her Macedonian 
claims with Serbia and Greece. As it was, she lost on all 

Later events proved that the calamity of the Second 
Balkan War and the Treaty of Bukarest did not fall upon 


Bulgaria alone. La Roumaniej the organ of the Rimianian 
statesman Jonescu, put it: 

**The Second Balkan War has proved a capital fault, a 
real error against the interests of us all. It is useless to 
seek for responsibilities. They were more general than one 
believes, and every one has paid for them and is paying 
still. What is certain is that hardly a year after this war, 
even those who in appearance gained the most by it would 
have preferred that it had never taken place. They would 
have to-day more limited territories, perhaps, but they 
know well that they would be stronger and more free.'* 

Speaking in the House of Commons on November 2, 
1915, Premier Asquith described the animosity of the 
Balkan States as **an unhappy and still unliquidated leg- 
acy of the two Balkan wars and especially of the Treaty 
of Bukarest." The Greek Socialists, in a memorandum to 
the Inter-Allied Socialist Conference of London in 191 8, 
passed the following judgment upon this great diplomatic 


^*We denounced the peace that followed the Second 
Balkan War — whatever niay have been the responsibility 
of one or the other side in the struggle — as a peace not 
durable, because it was not the accomplishment of the will 
of the peoples who participated in it. We protest energet- 
ically against every peace imposed at the point of the 
sword and destined inevitably to ezdte hatred and a desire 
for vengeance. Such a peace will have for result only to 
involve umocent people m a new war." 

The veteran English correspondent, J. D. Bourchier, 
who played an important role in the formation of the 
Balkan Alliance, has never ceased to protest against the 
territorial arrangements of the Treaty of Bukarest. In his 
correspondence at the time and later to his newspaper and 
in magazine articles,^ Mr. Bourchier has asserted that this 
treaty was disastrous to the real interests of all the nations 
concerned. During the World War that followed so closely 
the Balkan Wars, the truth of the Times correspondent's 
assertions came home to all with peculiar force. The inter- 
vention of Bulgaria on the side of the Central Empires 
caused the prolongation of the war, the internal disruption 
of Greece, the humiliation and the military occupation of 
Rumania, and the death of more than a quarter of the in- 
habitants of Serbia. Mr. Bourchier charges that the proc- 
ess of extermination of the Bulgarian element in Mace- 
donia and Thrace was inaugurated by Serbians and 

^ See the London Times filet for 1913-17 passim^ and the Quaruriy 
Rnieto for October, 191 7. 


Greeks in the winter of 191 2 while the Bulgarians were 
still fighting the Turks, and that the negotiations of 
London were intentionally protracted to increase the ex- 
haustion of the Bulgarian army. 

On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that the 
Greeks had an old so^re to settle with the Bulgarians, and 
that Venizelos as a Greek nad in mind himself, and repre- 
sented a nation that could never forget, the fate that had 
befallen the Greek element in Bulgarian territories. Al- 
though the organic statute of Eastern Rimielia guaranteed 
to the Greek element parliamentary representation and 
scholastic and ecclesiastical autonomy, and put the Greek 
language on an equality with the Bulgarian as an official 
language, virtually nothing remained after thirty years of 
the two hundred thousand Greeks of Rumelia and the 
Black Sea coast. The constitutional privileges of the 
Greeks were arbitrarily suppressed; convents and hospi- 
tals and even private homes were confiscated; and the 
Greek element had to go into exile or become Bulgarian. 
As late as 1906 the Bulgarians wiped out in one day the 
flourishing Greek towns of Anchialos and Stenimachos in 
a disgraceful pogrom, and demolished every Greek school 
and charitable institution in Philippopolis. The Greeks 
maintained that in the division of territories wrested from 
Turkey they were not calling upon the Bulgarians to make 
a sacrifice they themselves were unwilling to make. If the 



Bulgarian element was preponderant in Macedonia, the 
Greek element was preponderant in Thrace, and past 
experience taught them that Hellenism had little to expect 
from an extension of Bulgarian sovereignty. 

Venizelos, who had striven so loyally to avoid the 
Second Balkan War, was imcompromising in insisting that 
the Bulgarians should e^q^iate their crime. The inclusion 
of the Kavalla-Drama region in the Greek claims was 
represented by British correspondents at Bukarest as 
being against the advice and judgment of Venizelos. If it 
was against his judgment, he did not express himself for 
moderation of Greek demands. Venizelos told me person- 
ally that the July fighting had made impossible any such 
concessions to Bulgaria. He denied the presence in this 
region of any considerable Bulgarian population, and as- 
serted that if it remained under Bulgarian sovereignty 
Greece would have to take care of one hundred and fifty 
thousand additional refugees. He refused to admit the 
Bulgarian plea that Kavalla was a commercial necessity. 
He advanced that as an iEgean outlet Porto-Lagos was 
preferable to Kavalla. The railroad, which traversed less 
mountainous land, was one third shorter (170 against 260 
kilometers), and would lead directly to the center of Bul- 
garia. Kavalla was an open port, with everything yet to 
be done to make it available for large shipping, while 
Porto-Lagos could be protected from the sea at one half 


the expense of Kavalla. To the argument of the military 
authorities Venizelos assented; that is, that the possession 
of Kavalla was essential for the strategic protection of 

Venizelos at Bukarest despaired of the possibility of 
reconciling Bulgaria by displaying a spirit of conciliation 
and moderation. He knew also that he could not bring 
the Greek people to any such point of view. When we 
criticize statesmen by confronting them at one time with 
opinions e^q^ressed at another time, we fall into the error 
of failing to appreciate a change of circumstances. The 
Greek Premier, in common with his fellow-countrymen, 
was in the mood illustrated by the Greek Punch and Judy 
show, in which a Bulgarian shepherd was called upon to 
share with others three sheep acquired in common. "This 
one,'* said the Bulgarian, pointing to the first sheep, "falls 
to me by right; the second you give me for friendship's 
sake; the third I take from you."^ 

In defense of his Bukarest policy, Venizelos said several 
years later: 

"It was not possible to make any concession on the 
question of Kavalla; not because I should not have been 
justified before public opinion, but because I could not be 
sure that if I sacrificed Kavalla I should be in a position 
to secure peace from the Balkans. If I had been sure of 
this, I do not hesitate to say even now that I should have 

^ See Michel Andre in the Paris TempSy December i8, 1914. 


made the sacrifioe. But I knew, as a matter of fact, that 
if I gave up Kavalla the effect would be to stimulate Bul- 
garian voradty, which would <mfy be stronger and iRdbich 
would put the Bulgarians in a more advantageous position 
for aggression when the time came at which thejr thonglit 
it would be possible to attack us again. If then I insisted, 
as I did insist, on induding Kavalla in Greece, I did so 
because no sacrifice of Kavalla, under the circumstances 
tiiat prevailed at Bukarest, could succeed in averting 
fresh wars and ketk dangers.** 

Fnxn the standpcnnt of a constractive and durabfe 
peace, idiich was sorely needed by all the Balkan States, 
the Treaty of Bukarest must be r^arded as a failure of 

statesmanship, and Venizelos cannot be absolved from a 
share in the responsibility for its failure. His frankness in 
affirming that he might "have been justified before public 
opinion " for making the sacrifice of Kavalla increases his 
responsibility. This blunder, coupled with the lack of pre- 
dsion as to the exact nature of the reciprocal obligations 
of Serbia and Greece in the secret treaty concluded on the 
eve of the Second Balkan War, are vulnerable points in an 
otherwise impeccable diplomatic record. 



EVENTS moved txx> fast to allow Venizelos the five 
years which he told King George would be necessary 
for the regeneration of Greece. In less than two years 
after his accession to the premiership, war broke out with 
Turkey, followed inunediately by the war with Bulgaria. 
And then, a year after the signing of the Treaty of Buka- 
rest, came the World War. It is the lesson of human ex- 
perience, however, that the greatest miracles are wrought 
imder pressure, and that those whose hands are fullest 
accomplish most. Venizelos waited long in Crete for his 
high destiny. When the day of opportunity arrived, he was 
ready to lead Greece, and Greece was ready to be led. If 
he had come to power imder ordinary circumstances, and 
simply as representative of a political party with the ma- 
jority in the Chamber, he would have had to make haste 
slowly, and would have found the regeneration of a coun- 
try financially depleted and rent by internal dissension a 
superhiunan task. But, as the Kingdom of Greece was the 
hope of Hellenism, and as Venizelos had made himself the 
embodiment of the aspirations of the Greek race, he was 
able to strike m his first electoral campaign a note of ap- 


peal for support that was irresistible. Hellenism was in 
danger. In the success of Venizelos at Athens lay the 
future of the Greek race. The people cried out for a Mes- 
siah. The call gave Venizelos confidence and the cause 
inspired him. 

Those who gathered around the new leader put their 
faith in him implicitly. They were in the frame of mind to 
do as he told them without examining and discussing his 
programme, often without imderstanding the whys and 
wherefores. Greeks are by nature argumentative and 
prone to attach great importance to their individual opin* 
ions or prejudices. This state of mind made possible the 
amazing changes of 191 1 and 1912. As we look back 
upon these years, having in mind the character of the 
Greeks, we realize that the quick succession of external 
crises played into Venizelos's hands. He remained master 
of the situation, and was able to accomplish what he did, 
for the very reason that he did not have five years of quiet 
to reorganize Greece internally. 

The Liberal Party, which won the election of December, 
19 10, and gave Venizelos a working majority in the Greek 
Chamber, was bom of fanatical devotion to Hellenism and 
of dissatisfaction with the incompetence and sterility of 
the political leadership in the Kingdom of Greece. The 
campaign speeches of Venizelos and his followers demon- 
strate that the bid for popular favor was founded upon the 


crusader spirit. Venizelos declared that the Kingdom of 
Greece was being ruined, and the cause of Hellas compro- 
mised by "favlokratia," as he called the statesmanship of 
contemporary Greece. It was "the rule of the incompe- 
tent." Venizelos, although he was as ready to talk at 
length (which means hours) as any other Greek, skillfully 
avoided the long parliamentary and popular discussions 
which had been the bane of Greek politics by asserting 
that the people were tired of listening to words and called 
for acts. 

The men who made the first e^q^eriment in democracy 
recognized the fact that times of crisis call for a dictator. 
The Romans provided for that contingency. Throughout 
history nations have passed through periods when their 
destinies had to be conmiitted to one man. The successful 
dictator is not the despot who imposes himself by force, 
but the popular hero who inspires the imagination of the 
masses and wins and keeps their blind devotion. The suc- 
cessful dictator understands mob psychology. Toward 
the nation he establishes the relationship of a father toward 
his child by making the people feel that without him they 
can do nothing. When they arrive at absolute power, 
many dictators fail because they shut off the current from 
the dynamo. The people, no longer able to get at their 
dictators, discard them. When dictators become optimis- 
tic, and think they can keep the favor of the people by as- 


suring them that all is going well, they undermine their own 
authority. The child looks to its father for companionship 
and for protection. As soon as the father ceases to be- 
come a companion and a protector, the child turns from 

Venizelos has made neither of these mistakes. Despite 
his preoccupations he takes the time to listen to people and 
to talk to them. A public man belongs to the public When 
he became Premier he invited all to come to him with 
their troubles. He established himself as the accessible 
court of appeal for remedying injustices and for hearing 
complaints, in the same inimitable fashion as did Abraham 
Lincoln when he was carrying the burdens of the Qvil 
War. For the past ten years the antechamber of Venizelos 
has been open to ail who cared to come and wait their turn. 
As he works without interruption, taking no time for pleas- 
ures outside of his career, as he never dwells nor rests 
upon what he has already accomplished, as he takes little 
things along with the big, he has been able during the past 
ten years not only to accomplish the work of many men, 
but also to keep in close touch with the common people. 

A Greek friend tells me: "This is the only way to ex- 
plain how Venizelos for long years has mesmerized a whole 
people, aroused it from its languor, inspired and led to vic- 
tory an army, and has exercised his charm upon the whole 
world, calling attention to the once despised Greece. The 


Greeks, satisfied only with personal contacts, want and re- 
quire much from their Venizelos." 
His illustration to prove this is worth quoting: 

" In the antechamber of Venizelos one meets the queerest 
visitors, from ministers and generals with whom he regu- 
lates the affairs of state to the lowliest peasant, whose crops 
are not promising, to the woman whose rheumatism does 
not let her sleep — every one demands a personal inter- 
view of Venizelos to state his grievances and his desires. 
Venizelos must know that Demetrios, whose goat has 
been stolen, is not pleased with the internal administra- 
tion. After Demetrios, he must receive the old grand- 
mother who has been waiting for two hours to explain to 
the Premier that the overeat which was given to her 
grandson in the army is somewhat worn and that Veni- 
zelos must write immediately to the military authorities 
that they replace it with one worthy of the physique of 
her strapping boy. 

"Once there came a request from an xmhappy husband 
who begged Venizelos to lead his wife back to the right 
path. * If you, Mr. President,* wrote the petitioner, * would 
only simunon my wife and admonish her, I am sure that 
she would listen to you and that she would change her 
conduct, and so, thanks to you, I should find my lost hap- 
piness again.' How, with all his good-will, does Venizelos 
find time to occupy himself with the affairs of Greece, the 
goat of Demetrios, the vegetables of the peasants, the 
grandson's overcoat, and the unfaithful wife? For he does 
do so!" ^ 

^ I am indebted to Dr. Antonios P. Sawidis, of Harvard University, for 
this story. 


In my own experience I have had tlie opportumty of 
realizing how Venizelos is all things to all men. So I dte 
this intimate glimpse of a little-known side of the Premier's 
life without fear of exaggeration. Venizelos does take time 
for everybody. As he does not work by the clock and has 
no appointments for golf, he gets as much personal contact 
with people of all sorts as pressing official duties allow 
him. He has mounted the rungs of the ladder by tireless 
energy and by personal magnetism. Those same qualities 
have kept him where he is. Given the gift of sleep, a good 
physique, and keen joy in the work one is doing, formal 
vacations and hours of stereotyped recreation do not nec- 
essarily fit into the proper scheme of things for all men. 
There is such a thing as getting more real fun out of one's 
work than out of play. Thinking about the goat of Deme- 
trios can be recreation. 

From the beginning of his public life in Athens Veni- 
zelos never deceived the people with alluring promises. 
In his speeches I find no promise to which a sti£F condition 
is not attached. He kept impressing upon the people the 
vital need of their cooperation in every governmental 
policy. He made them feel their responsibility. He called 
into being will-power where before there had been inertia. 
He gave proof of the most wonderful characteristic of 
leadership, the genius of impressing upon every follower 
the fact that he was an essential cog in the wheel. If one 


failed or slacked, the common good of all would be im- 
periled. He made the innovation in campaigning of not 
patting himself or any one else on the back. And he knew 
how to paint the inmiediate future in dark colors in order 
to bring out the dazzling glory of the goal. If one may be 
allowed to say it in all reverence, Venizelos treated his dis- 
ciples after the fashion of the Great Master. Hardships 
and persecutions and danger were to be their lot. He held 
forth no hope of personal advantage to any one, nor even 
of inunediate success in the triumph of Hellenism. It was 
a challenge to the Greeks to have faith in themselves as 
well as in him. The call for service and sacrifice, when 
rightly put, is the most potent appeal that can be made to 

Under the stimulus of the increasing menace of the 
Yoimg Turks, who thought to cripple Greece by boycott- 
ing her commerce and to intimidate Greece and the other 
Balkan States, Venizelos was/able to resist the pressure of 
reactionaries and hot-head^ and chauvinists, raise and 
equip a modem army, rehabilitate and increase the navy, 
re-create the internal administrative system, liberate 
Greece from financial servitude, and form a military alli- 
ance with the Balkan States. As in Crete, old-fashioned 
politicians distrusted and opposed him, narrow-minded 
nationalists and self-centered irredentists upbraided him, 
statesmen of the Powers warned him against the folly of 


megalomania, and G3iirt and Church feared that he was 
gambling with their certainties. Because he hit straight 
out from the shoulder, and made no attempt to conceal or 
gloss over the difficulties and dangers, the people believed 
him and in him. They backed him against sovereign, poli- 
ticians, and ecclesiastics. 

The way in which Venizelos asked for popular support is 
best illustrated by his own words. When he went before the 
country in the general election of December, 1910, he said: 

"I do not promise that from one day to the next the 
Government will inaugurate the Golden Age. As the 
malady is serious, the treatment will be long. What I 
promise is that the treatment will be radical and eflPective. 
The first duty of a politician is to sacrifice his personal in- 
terests and those of his party to the general interests of his 
country. It is also his duty to say always the truth to great 
and small, without bothering about the displeasure that his 
loyalty may provoke. 

"A leader must give the example of complete submis- 
sion to the law. If not, how can he impose his point of 
view upon his followers ? That is my fundamental princi- 
ple. A statesman must look at power not as end, but 
as a means of assuring what is good for the common weal. 
He will not hesitate then to resign his office, if his mainte- 
nance of the head of the government must be purchased 
by the sacrifice of his programme. 

"To govern is not easy. Only with your support shall we 
arrive at a restoration which will give birth to happy days. 
Do not despair. On the ruins of the past, by laying new 
foundations, shall arise a political edifice which will per- 


mit the Hellenic nation to respond to the needs of present- 
day civilization and to the hopes of those who are work- 
ing for its regeneration." 

From the rebirth of Greece to 1907, her population in- 
creased from 600,000 to 2,650,000. By the imion of the 
Ionian Islands and Thessaly with the kingdom, more than 
half a million were added. The original population tripled 
in two generations. When the first illiteracy statistics were 
taken in 1870, there were considerably less than twenty 
per cent who could read and write, and of these only six 
per cent were women. When Venizelos came to Athens 
about thirty-five per cent of the population were literate. 
There was a compulsory education law for children from six 
to twelve, but money was lacking to establish schools in 
country districts, and so the law was not enforced. Two 
things were necessary : a larger budget for the Ministry of 
Public Instruction, and normal schools. Higher education 
had to precede primary education. Along with the creation 
of two hundred new municipal schools, Venizelos insisted 
upon making immediately the financial sacrifices required 
to establish normal schools and to increase the efficiency 
of the University of Athens. Capodistria University, 
founded by the Domboli legacy, was annexed to the Uni- 
versity of Athens and an ambitious programme of new 
chairs and new laboratories was inaugurated. All this could 
not be provided by the State. An appeal was made to the 


generosity of rich Greeks, who have ahvays been noted 
for their willingness to give money for public institutions. 
Venizelos pointed out that the future of Hellas was in- 
separably bound up in the efficiency and spirit of the Uni- 
versity of Athens. A fourth of its students came from un- 
redeemed Greece. Was not he himself an example of what 
the University could accomplish toward the realization 
of national ideals ? 

I have linked together efficiency and spirit. Many ear- 
nest educators had long been striving for the former. 
There were learned professors on the faculty, imbued with 
the traditions and scholastic ideals of German universities. 
But some of them considered education itself and scholas- 
tic attainments the ends of university training, and the 
vision of others was limited to Old Greece or to the wor- 
ship of the past. Venizelos intended that the University 
of Athens should become the foyer of Hellenism in a very 
practical sense. So much emphasis had been laid upon 
the importance and glory of classic Greece in world civili- 
zation that those who entertained the hope of reestablish- 
ing the nation by reviving the forms and exterior appear- 
ance of ancient Hellas had come into hopeless conflict with 
realities. They had lost their faith. They had become 
embittered. Or, if they succeeded in deceiving themselves, 
they engaged in academic quarrels with those who be- 
lieved that the dead should bury their dead. 


The language question (yXoKrcrticov Ji^fia) was the 
touchstone. Some were for maintaining and teaching, 
until it was universally accepted, the pure language 
(Kadapevovaa) of public life and the newspapers, while 
others thought it was ridiculous to strive for nation-wide 
literacy through any other medium than the popular 
language (Styfiortinf) of poetry and ordinary speech.^ 

The Demotikists argued that it was against the his- 
tory of philological evolution for Greece to be bound by 
her ancient tongue, and cited the Italian language as an 
example of logical and virile evolution. Were the great 
masters of the Renaissance of less worth because they had 
written in Italian instead of Latin? 

The Katharevusists replied that the analogy did not 
hold. The revival of their ancient tongue in its purity 
must be to the Greeks the symbol of the unity of the Hel- 
lenic race and the repudiation and thrusting into oblivion 
of the tragic centuries of foreign domination. The Katha- 
revusists asked for Government support in the effort to 
keep out of the written language what the Demotikists 
wanted to bring into it, Italian and Turkish and Occiden-^ 
tal words and idioms, the memories of bondage and disper- 
sion. They hoped that teaching the pure language of 
Greece in schools and not allowing the modem patois to 
be used in newspapers and periodicals and books would lead 

* Cf. Dr. R. M. Burrows in the ConUmporary Review^ February, 1919. 


to a revival throa^ioiit HeOas of a oomoKm ^okm 
piagf anA ffyy ^fff^ipp f^yafifi^ ^ Aim}fr^ Tlie idcil was a 

pOMbkooc For die Gredk laqgoage bcldt a imiqiie pott- 
tiofi ttnoag Enroptan laqgoi^es. Ithasmiintaiiieditaclf 
thioag^ tiiiitjr oentories ao imdiaqgcd diat ooljr fitde 
inttmctiQa in grammar b neoessaiy to make the written 
language ol die andents intelUgibk to Gredu of the tiven- 
tieth oentniy. Can tfab be said for any other European 
language? I have had die privilege of teaching daasical 
Greek to peasant bojrs of Aria NCnor, and have learned 
hy personal eq>erienoe that Gredu can read Homer at 
ri^t more easily than English or American sdiodboys can 
read Chaucer. Where Anglo-Saxon schoolboys need a 
dictionary and a teacher for Beowulf^ Greek schoolboys 
read Xenophon at sight. 

Venlzelos decided for the Katharevusists. By constitu- 
tional enactment the Bible in modem dialects is forbidden 
in Greece, and the Ministry of Public Education adopted 
a programme to satisfy the demands of the purists. I 
have heard American missionaries criticize severely the 
refusal of the Greek Government to tolerate the spread of 
the Scriptures in the Kotmf. They thought, of course^ of 
the hindrance to their evangelical work and colportage. In 
common with Demotikists, but for a di£Ferent reason, they 
were unable to grasp the significance of the attitude 
of Venizclos. They did not realize the importance of 


the Katharevuslst movement to the political conception 
Venizelos cherished. A common language for all Hellas 
was the strongest bond to unite the Greek race. Since the 
revival of the pure language was a practical ideal, it was 
common sense to attempt it. The student of national 
movements finds that language is the most powerful factor 
in awakening and developing the national consciousness 
of a people that has suffered from alien rule, and espe- 
cially from servitude to several masters. Would it have 
been possible for the Poles, for instance, to have foimd 
nationhood again, had they not striven to preserve and 
foster their own language during the century of their 

But Venizelos knew how to avail himself of the Kathare- 
vusist movement only in so far as it could be used for the 
realization of the aspirations of Hellenism. He had no pa- 
tience with those who lived in the past, and whose vision 
of Hellenism was limited to classic Greece. Their academic 
outlook upon life led to paralysis of the will and to hope- 
less cynicism. Nor did he give encouragement to the 
chauvinistic element among the purists who were so com- 
pletely under the spell of the glory of classic Greece and 
BjTzantium that they thought Greece could regenerate 
herself without studying and borrowing from Occidental 
Europe and without seeking aid and coimsel from Eu- 
ropean teachers and advisers. From the moment he be- 


came Premier he made war upon pride and self-sufficiency 
as well as upon apathy. In moderation xenophobia is an 
essential factor of success for a nationalist movement. 
But he who uses it must be able to discriminate between 
self-reliance and self-sufficiency. 

Another danger to be guarded against in the regenera- 
tion of a small people is the tendency of reformers to insist 
upon looking to one Great Power to the exclusion of others 
for aid and guidance. Among the followers of Venizelos 
were Greeks who had been educated in England or France 
or Germany. They were Anglophiles or Francophiles or 
Germanophlles, and when it was a question of imitating 
and adapting or seeking aid, they demanded that Greece 
put all her eggs in one basket. Venizelos, on the other 
hand, believed that Greece should pick and choose. Wholly 
aside from political and financial considerations, common 
sense dictated an impartial study of the various European 
systems of legislation and administration and selecting 
patterns to be followed and coimselors to be employed. 
Unless the political considerations outweighed the ad- 
vantages, the determining influences must be success and 
efficiency and adaptation to the particular need and pecul- 
iar genius of the Greek race. Venizelos has never indulged 
himself in antipathy or hostility toward any Great Power. 
To lesser men he has left the dubious honor of being pro- 
English or pro-French or pro-German. He has been con- 


tent to be pro-Greek. His sole criterion has been the in- 
terest of his own country. 

Nor, in the regeneration of Greece, has he represented, as 
its instrument or the exponent of its ambitions, any class 
or section of political creed in his own country. Into the 
ranks of the Liberal Party he welcomed all who wished to 
follow him, making no promises of individual preferment 
or of advancing group interests, and exacting only whole- 
hearted devotion to the goal of achieving the xmity of 
Hellas. Thus it is that while he was supported by the Mili- 
tary League, he refused to lend himself to an anti-dynastic 
movement, and while he was backed by manufacturers 
and shippers and the wealthiest Greeks, a prominent So- 
dalist could say of his reforms: 

"To my mind the reforms of Venizelos mean such a yield- 
ing to the anti-plutocratic spirit as will lead to the taxation 
of the rich for the needy of the State and the relief of the 
poorer classes. To these reforms Venizelos has pledged 
himself. And I believe in his promises. Therefore I shall 
vote for all his measures, which tend to the overthrow of 
capitalism. The hopes of a million struggling, despised, 
and wronged working men and women are centered in the 
present Government." ^ 

We can give only a brief siunmary of the le^slative and 
administrative reforms of 191 1, which have made the last 
ten years a decade of miracles in Greece despite the con^ 

* Cf. Dr. E. J. Dillon, in the Contemporary Rmfw, January, 191 1. 


8tant interraptions of wars and internal political con- 
flicts. Of the Ministry of Public Instruction we have al- 
ready spoken. In the lAmistry of Justice the most impor- 
tant of the new laws have provided for the construction of 
a building and the formation of a system to centralize in 
Athens the work of the Department; simplifying the pro- 
cedure of civil tribunals; wills; remedying the abuses of 
usury; protecting creditors against the bad faith of debt- 
ors ; condemning to costs false demmciators and false plead- 
ers; reconstructing prisons and enlightened prison admin- 
istration; raising salaries of magistrates and court officials; 
and providing for prompt trials with counsel for the ac- 
cused. In the Ministry of the Interior, a new law for cwn- 
munal administration was passed, and for the first time in 
the history of Greece an efficient national police force was 
organized. TheMinistryof Public Works received a greatly 
increased budget for draining swamps and for extending 
telegraph lines and postal service to the smallest hamlets of 
the kingdom. 

The most important innovation of Venizelos was the 
creation of the Ministry of National Economy, under a 
practical business man, to include commerce, industry, 
and agriculture. Venizelos knew that it would be impossible 
to bring order out of chaos in finances, to work for the 
emancipation of Greece from foreign financial control, 
to plan extensive public works, to build up the army and 


navy, and above all to win all classes of the population to 
the support of his Cabinet, unless the revenues of the 
country were quickly and greatly increased. The reforms 
under the ^Cnistry of National Economy were initiated 
in 191 1. They can be considered, however, only in the light 
of the progressive development during the years that 
followed. And in judging the work of Venizelos in legisla- 
tive and administrative reforms, it must be remembered 
that hardly two years of the new regime had passed be- 
fore Greek sovereignty was extended over a part of Epirus, 
most of Macedonia, and additional iEgean islands, includ- 
ing Crete. 

Old Greece, with her deep gulfs and peninsulas and 
islands, depended largely upon transportation by water. 
The Greeks are bom sailors and traders, and it was natu- 
ral that with the advent of the steamship era they should 
not only develop a merchant marine for their own needs, 
but also enter into competition with other nations in the 
carrying trade. Government encouragement in the de- 
velopment and amelioration of the merchant marine meant 
more to Greece than simply caring for her own coastal and 
international commimications. Every ship under Greek 
registry could be made a factor in earning money for Greece 
outside of Greece and thus help to correct an unfavorable 
trade balance. A powerful Greek merchant fleet would 
serve also to further the political interests of Hellenism in 


xmredeemed Greece. Before 1910 captains and en^neers 
received diplomas by examination before a commission of 
the \Gnistry of Marine. Venizelos established a training 
school for merchant officers at the Piraeus^ and created a 
superior council to look after the interests of the merchant 
marine. From 1910 to 191 5 Greek foreign commerce in- 
creased from 300,000,000 drachmae to 500,000,000 dradi- 
mae, and yet more of this commerce was carried on Greek 
bottoms in 1915 than in 1910. In another place we shall 
speak of the fearful losses of Greek shipping throu^ the 
submarine warfare, which have checked the admirable 
growth of ships under Greek registry. When conditions 
are again settled, there is no doubt that Greece will become 
a formidable competitor of the larger nations in the carry- 
ing trade, especially in the Mediterranean. 

The ease of communication by sea retarded road and 
railway building in Greece. But when, by reason of the 
Balkan Wars, the frontiers of Greece were greatly extended 
landward, the problem of land transportation became acute. 
The Venizelist Governments have built three himdred kilo- 
meters of new railways in the Peloponnesus and the line 
from Athens to Saloniki, which is over five hundred kilo- 
meters. Extensive railway construction is demanded in 
Macedonia and Thrace, where the roads of the Turkish 
regime were largely dictated by military necessity. Gov- 
ernment ownership of all the railways of Old Greece is now 


a matter of only a few years. In 191 8 Venizelos secured 
an appropriation to cx>nstruct nearly four thousand kilo- 
meters of new highways. 

The industrial legislation of Greece under Venizelos has 
made steady progress. There were prejudices to be over- 
come and conditions different from those of other European 
countries to be taken into consideration. Hence Venizelos 
did not attempt to play the role of a new broom sweeping 
dean when he first assiuned office. In 191 1 the principle 
of trade-unionism was recognized under specific regula- 
tions. In 1912 a National Labor Board was created, with 
representatives of the Government, the employers, and the 
unions. A law was passed, stipulating payment for serv- 
ices on the spot where the work was performed, and re- 
quiring employers to pay interest on wages overdue. In 
1914 Greece adopted an employers' liability act and sick-* 
ness and old age pensions. Measures that had been tried 
out for three years were embodied in a definite bill regu- 
lating sanitary conditions in factories and vineyards and 
on farms. In 1915 the question of hours of labor was taken 
under government control by the law fixing the opening 
and closing of factories, shops, and bazaars in cities of 
over fifteen thousand inhabitants. In 191 8 various measures 
for the protection of children and women were embodied 
in a law prohibiting child labor under twelve, limiting the 
hours of work of women and older children, excluding 


women and children from mine and quarry labor, and re- 
quiring employers tx> give a period of leave with full pay 
for women bearing children. 

The agricultural population of Old Greece is nearly 
sixty-two per cent, and in the territories added by the 
Balkan Wars nearly sixty-seven per cent of the total. 
While Venizelos has always given careful attention to in- 
dustrial problems in large centers of population, he has 
realized the prime importance of promoting agriculture and 
of solving perplexing problems of agrarian legislation and 
taxes. Outside of Thessaly, where remedial measiu^s had 
already been taken, large holdings of land did not furnish 
a serious question for Greece. In many regions public 
interest demanded the creation of larger holdings rather 
than the breaking-up of estates. But Venizelos had suf- 
ficent faith in the destiny of Greece to look to the future 
and provide for the contingency of annexation of provinces 
in which Turkish law and custom made the peasants 
virtually serfs. He did not desire to have on his hands a 
difficult agrarian question such as Greece faced after the 
annexation of Thessaly. So the Constitution of 191 1 con- 
tained an article providing for the expropriation of lands 
to install farmers and peasants as proprietors in fee 
simple. This constitutional change was justified on the 
ground of public utility, and was a striking forecast of the 
Rumanian agrarian law of December 14, 191 8. Without 


this amendment of the constitution, Venizelos oould not 
so easily have extended the Greek principle of agra- 
rian l^slation to Macedonia and Epirus in December, 

The measures of Venizelos to promote agriculture in 
Greece, remarkable in themselves, have been brilliantly 
successful. One of his first acts, when he became Premier 
in the autimm of 1910, was to employ French experts for 
promoting fruit cultivation and draining swamps. The 
State established fruit-tree nurseries, and sent specialists 
to show the peasants how to combat diseases of fruit-trees. 
He also employed French help in the struggle against 
phylloxera and to show the peasants how to make and pre- 
serve wine. He encouraged the cultivation of olives by 
premiums and State aid. Foreign agricultural engineers 
and forestry experts were employed. Experiments were 
made in growing Egyptian and American cotton, and every 
encouragement was given for improving the quality of 
tobacco. Venizelos took a personal interest in stimulating 
the growing of potatoes. The figures of increase in potatoes 
tell an eloquent story: in 1910, 16,000,000 tons; in 1913, 
21,000,000 tons; in 1914, 23,000,000 tons; in 1915, 36,000, 
000 tons; in 1919, 48,000,000 tons.^ 

^ For these figures and for most of what is given in this chapter concern- 
ing Greek finances, especially the figures, I am indebted to Le Relevement 
£conomique de La Grece (Paris, 1920), by E. J. Tsouderos, a member of the 
Greek Chamber, who ably represented his country in economic matters 


Venizelos preached love of the land, and sought to 
check the tide of emigration to America. He made it pos- 
sible for the humblest peasant to get information that 
would help him increase his production; he distributed free 
quinine to fight swamp fever; with his own hand he edited 
and revised lectures to be sent to teachers in the schook of 
the provinces; he found time to go to the laboratories at 
the University of Athens and talk with the research chem- 
ists about substitutes such as wood alcohol for benane, 
concrete for Austrian wood, lignite for coal, and stafidine 
(derived from raisins) for sugar. He was as much inter- 
ested in the discovery that motorine could be made from 
resin as in a battle won, and he undertook personally to see 
that the Department of Agriculture popularized the dis- 
coveries of chemical science. 

Little would have been possible without the enthusiastic 
and loyal collaboration of able coadjutors, to whose in- 
dividual work I am unable to give due credit either here 
or elsewhere; for I am endeavoring to write the story of the 
life of one man. Those who have worked with Venizelos, 
however, would be the last to criticize this omission. Their 
devotion to Venizelos and to the great cause of Hellenism 
precludes seeking for personal recognition. They realize 

at the Peace Conference. I wish also to acknowledge my indebtedness to 
my good friends, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicholas Politis and Professor 
Andreades, of the University of Athens, who have written books and ar- 
ticles on the international aspects of Greek finances. 


that from the first Venizelos has stocxi for Greece and not 
for himself. So there has been no clash of personalities, 
no eagerness for winning credit in the eyes of the world. 
The success of Venizelos in the regeneration of Greece is 
partly due to the fact that he has led and still leads cabinet 
ministers, heads of departments, and governors of prov- 
inces, as a general leads his army. All are anonymous ex- 
cept the big chief, and his name is synonymous with the 
cause. The discipline is perfect. Every personal interest 
is subordinated to winning the battle. 

We can understand this if we put ourselves in the place 
of the friends of Venizelos. Their coimtry was in danger. 
The cause for success for which they strove was almost a 
matter of religion with them. Had they been living in nor- 
mal times in a normal coimtry, they would have been 
tempted to think more of self and to have looked for the 
reward of individual recognition of their services. But to 
save their country they had gladly centered everything 
around the leader. This self-effacement of men of conspicu- 
ous ability is ample refutation of the accusations made by 
the enemies of Venizelos. If Venizelos were self-seeking 
and if his policy at any time during the past ten years had 
been influenced by personal ambition, many of his co- 
adjutors would undoubtedly have forsaken him. The 
charge that Venizelos fails to star his collaborators can be 
answered. If he had to star them or did star them, he might 


justly be mupected of starring luinself. Only an unselfish 
man calls forth unselfishness in others. 

Every follower of Venizebsy who was worthy of the name 
of follower^ shared the vision of the great leader suffidendy 
to grasp the essential conditions of the success of his mis- 
sion. Greece could not save Hellenism without proving 
herself strong enough to fight for Hellenism; that is^ for 
the redemption of the Greeks under Ottoman rule. Veni- 
zdosy then, was a peace Premier only in the sense that peace 
was to be a transitional stage to prq>are Greece for war. 
And the two essentials of war are money and fitting 
strength. Everything else in the regeneration of Greece 
under Venizelos has been contributory and secondary to 
financial and military rehabilitation. 

Greece began her independent existence with a heavy 
debt, the nominal capital of which represented more than 
twice the amoimt she had actually received from the friend 
who loaned her money. Another loan had to be floated in 
1833 to set the new kingdom on its feet. From 1833 to 
1862 Greece was barely able to pay back short-term loans 
and to meet the interest on the indebtedness contracted 
during the War of Independence and in 1833. From 1862 
to 1893 the effort to meet interest obligations abroad, to- 
gether with annual deficits due to the Cretan question and 
to indispensable public works, led to pyramiding and to 
an alarming increase of treasury notes. Greece could no 


longer meet her interest payments and set aside the amoimts 
promised in the loan agreements to pay off each year a part 
of the principal. For several years the foreign creditors of 
Greece urged their Governments to intervene to establish 
an international control of Greek finances similar to that 
known as the Ottoman Public Debt in neighboring Turkey. 
This insistent demand was staved off with difficulty for 
several years. But the disastrous war of 1897 gave the 
foreign creditors the opportunity to insist upon the in- 
tervention of the Powers. British, French, German, Aus- 
trian, and Italian holders of Greek bonds were unanimous 
in declaring that their Governments should not assent 
to the payment by Greece of an indenmity to Turkey that 
would take priority over their bonds. Nor would Euro- 
pean financiers lend Greece money to pay the indemnity 
until the three Protecting Powers, Great Britain, Russia, 
and France (from whose investors had to come the money 
desperately needed by Greece), guaranteed the indemnity 
loan and promised to make Greece submit to Six-Power 
control of her finances. 

It is impossible to go into the details of this control, which 
was firmly ensconced in Greece when Venizelos came to 
power. The story is long and involved, and it would be 
wearisome to give even the main facts of it. Certain 
revenues of Greece were mortgaged to pay foreign bond- 
holders, and limitations were placed upon the authority 


of the IMBnistiy of Finance which meant an encroachment 
upon the sovereignty of Greece. Her hands were tied in 
adopting new taxes or increasing old taxes and in fiscal 
policy generally. The most irritating features of interna- 
tional control, as in other countries where it is exercised, 
are the knowledge of the taxpayers that unpopular tax 
levies, such as stamp and salt taxes and monopolies, do 
not go into the national treasury, and the element of for- 
eign interference in customs duties. Under Venizdos 
Greece has not yet rid herself of this obnoxious and humiUr 
ating limitation of her independence. But three of the six 
Powers are out of the Commission, and the other three are 
indebted to Greece. The commission is marked for early 
disappearance. Venizelos has proposed that the League of 
Nations take over the interests of foreign landholders in 
all countries that are afflicted like Greece. In this way 
impersonal financial administration will be substituted 
for a system in which diplomacy is tempted sometimes to 
intervene for particular ends. 

Despite the handicap of the International Commission, 
the record of Greek finances imder Venizelos is a glorious ? 

The factor of exchange has been favorable to the Greeks. 
Exchange arrived at par in 1910, and stayed around par 
until the outbreak of the World War. Smce 1914 it has 
become rapidly favorable to Greece. The reasons for this 


are the money coming intx) the country from Greeks abroad, 
especially from the United States; the gold receipts of the 
merchant fleets; the revenues of Greeks who have become 
Greek subjects; the decrease of the public debt held by 
foreigners and thus of interest payments going abroad; 
and the lessening of importations since 1914. Before Veni- 
zelos demonstrated what he could accomplish for Greece, 
only one seventh of the national debt was held by Greeks, 
In 19 1 7 more than two fifths was held by Greeks, and the 
interest payments on this did not leave the country. Al- 
though statistics have not been compiled for 1920, it is 
believed that considerably more than half of the national 
debt is now held by Greeks. And all the while the value 
of Greek Government bonds has been steadily increasing! 
When I first went to Greece in 1908, one could get three 
drachmae for two French francs. Now one can get three 
francs for two drachmae. In the general depreciation of 
European exchanges Greek money has lost less than any 
other Continental belligerent. 

From 1910 to 191 3 the revenues of the Greek Govern- 
ment increased by one third. The year 191 1 was proof 
of what the reforms of Venizdos were able to accomplish 
when there were no extraordinary war expenses to meet. 
After one year at the helm of the ship of State the pilot 
could show a surplus of revenue over expenditure of fifty- 
nine per cent. In ten years, notwithstanding disturbed 

i86 VENI2EL0S 

ooaditions, the revenues of Greece have iiK)re than dou^ 

and the Government of Venizelos 18 able to show an average 
of fifty per cent surplus in the civil administration of the 
country. Of course, as in all countries, the national debt 
has increased substantially because of military eq>endi- 
tures. But Greece has assets in more than double her old 
territory to show for what has been spent. 

Faith in the destiny of Greece has been the prindpal 
factor in her financial rehabilitation, but, speaking of tan- 
gible factors, the Venizelist administration can point to a 
complete reorganization of methods of collecting and im- 
posing taxes and keqping the books of the NGnistry of Fi- 
nance. It was not easy to get rid of the old system, which 
was partly a legacy from Turkey and partly the outgrowth 
of two generations of maladministration. The enlargement 
of frontiers after the Balkan Wars only complicated the 
task. In the budget of 1914 there were diflFerent systems for 
Old Greece, the Ionian Islands, Laconia, Crete, and the 
new provinces. One could ooimt fifty-one kinds of direct 
taxes, of which fourteen were on agricultural production. 
Venizelos by a series of laws suppressed eighteen of the di- 
rect taxes and lessened others, substituting for them four 
new taxes: income; unearned increment of improved prop- 
erty; legacies ; war profits. A radical series of measures was 
taken in 1918 to secure uniformity of taxation throughout 
Greece. But one can well understand how difficult all this 


18 with the uncertain frontiers, the recency of Turkish and 
Bulgarian domination and foreign military occupation, 
the complications of the Ottoman Public Debt, and the 
claims of the victors in the World War for indemnities to 
be levied on all territories formerly belonging to l\irkey 
and Bulgaria. 

All these reforms have had as their principal object the 
military efficiency of Greece. Fortunately Venizelos did 
not need to drive this lesson home. At every stage of his 
career the Greek nation has been thr ^tened in it^ mm^ 
mer dal prosperity and in its very existence by rumors of 
warn and wars. Venizelos Came Upon the Stage in Greece at 
a time when the possession of superior force was becoming 
the supreme argument in international relations. A weak 
nation had to swallow everything. A nation capable of 
defending itself could secure respect for its territorial in- 
tegrity and its commercial interests, and hope to realize 
its national aspirations. 

When Venizelos came to Athens Turkey had an army 
massed on the Thessalian frontier, and was attempting to 
secure from the Greek Govenmient a blanket surrender 
of present and future interests in Crete. The young Turks 
were persecuting the Greeks in Thrace, Asia Minor, and 
the unfortunate islands still under their domination. The 
Greek flag was being boycotted in Ottoman ports, and 
Greek merchants could do no business in Ottoman cities. 


After her defeat in the Balkan Wars Turkey renewed with 
more ferocity than ever her oppression of Greek Ottoman 
subjects. During the World War, when Greece under Con- 
stantine tried to keep neutral, the Entente Powers seized 
Saloniki as a base of operations and the Central Powers 
and Bulgaria invaded Greek territory. After the Peace 
Conference the Allied Premiers wished to evade giving 
Greece any great extension of frontiers, and were only 
blocked in this purpose by the fact that Greece had a large 
army mobilized, which wanted to fight and knew how to 

Venizelos did not have much time to build up the Greek 
army and navy before the war with Turkey broke out, and 
after his conflict with King Constantine during the World 
War he had to re-create both the army and the navy. But 
all along he was equal to the task and accomplished it for 
the simple reason that military strength was the sine qua 
non of saving Greece and realizing the national aspirations. 
Venizelos never allowed himself to be fooled and to coimt 
on getting what Greece wanted by any other means than 
having a strong army as the tnunp card to play when a 
trick had to be taken. 

It seemed a superhuman task to build up an army and 
a navy in the atmosphere of Athens of the summer of 1910, 
when both branches of the service were still suffering from 
the revolution of the previous year. Discipline had gone to 


smash. The Military League had obliged the Diadcxjue 
(Crown Prince) and other sons of the King to resign their 
commands and quit the army. King George had to swallow 
this affront, and not only grant an amnesty to the rebels, 
but submit to their conditions. Venizelos was regarded as 
the instrument in the League, which was avowedly anti- 
dynastic. But he was able to resist the pressure brought 
to bear upon him by those who had called him to Greece. 
He reestablished harmony in the General Staff and among 
regular army officers by recalling the Princes and gradu- 
ally restoring the Crown Prince to favor with the people 
and the rank and file of the army. He took the respon- 
sibility of every measure necessary to restore discipline. 
He foimd the money for new equipment, artillery, and 
munitions. He asked the aid of France, and entrusted to 
a French Military Mission under General Eydoux the 
difficult task of whipping the army into shape. He did not 
fear to risk disfavor by siding with the foreigners when it 
was necessary to do so. He made use of that wonderful 
personal magnetism which he displayed a second time at 
Saloniki in 1917 to put obedience and a fighting spirit into 
the Greek army. 

Venizelos begged the British Admiralty to send a naval 
mission (although Great Britain was doing the same for 
Turkey) to rehabilitate the Greek navy. By the gift of a 
patriot Greece received in 1910 the cruiser Averoff, which 


^V€ her the 8iq)renuu7 of the iEgean in the first Balkan 
War. Andmi9i4,whenlViii»3rofderedtwodreadn0i]g|it8 
in England, Venizeloe ptompdy porchaaed the onl^ Aip^ 
in 8ig^t in tlie whole worid, the Idaho and the Misria^pfM, 
from the United States (rd>aptia9ed Kilkis and Lemnos), 
and a little Chinese cniiser, which was renamed Hdle. 

Asked in May, 1914, why he was paying so much atten- 
tbn to military and naval prqMtrationy when Greece 
was the glorious victor in two wars and incontestable 
master of her destiny, Veniaoebs smiled The questkxier 
pressed him. Ht demanded pointedly, ^Do yon eapeet 
another war?'' 

"Certainly not!" answered Venizelos. "But that is the 
very reason why I want to be ready." #li. W<( 




DESPITE the larger boundaries won by Greece at 
Bnkarest over those Venizelos would have gladly 
agreed on at London, there is no doubt that the Greek 
Premier when he returned to Athens felt like the Ru- 
manian Take Jonescu, who said: "Even those who in 
appearance gained most by the Second Balkan War 
would have preferred that it had never taken place. They 
would have to-day less territory, perhaps, but they know 
well that they would be stronger and more free." 

After the treaty had been signed, the anti-Venlzelists 
tried to make capital of the Premier's moderation at 
Bukarest by charging him with sacrificing Greek interests 
to make possible a new rapprochement with Bulgaria. When 
Stratos was virtually dismissed from his position in the 
Cabinet by Venizelos in November, 191 3, he accused 
Venizelos of still playing up to Bulgaria. The Premier 
frankly admitted that until the actual hostilities were 
begun he had done all he could to preserve the alliance. 
More than this, he had the courage to put himself on record 
as supporting the movement originated by the English 


Balkan committee to appease race hatred. Interviewed 
afterwards by journalists, he said that he was anxious for 
Greece to live at peace with Bulgaria, that he believed that 
the Balkan Confederation was not an exploded dream, 
and that some day it could be realized on a large scale, in- 
cluding not only Bulgaria, but also Turkey, 

This attitude was dictated by sound statesmanship. 
A hostile and revengeful Bulgaria, suspected of being 
under Austrian influence, was not a comfortable neighbor; 
for Venizelos had to face the stubbornness of Turkey in 
concluding the peace whose details had not been fully 
settled at London. The retaking of Adrianople, following 
the collapse of Bulgaria, made the Turks bold. The treaty 
with Turkey, concluded at Athens in October, 1913, left 
open the title of Greece to the iEgean Islands captured 
during the war. Turkey, invoking the subterfuge of the 
necessity of the consent of the Powers, refused to acknowl- 
edge the transfer of sovereignty to Greece. Hardly was 
the peace signed than the Turkish Minister at Athens, 
Ghalib Kemal, began to threaten molestation of Greeks in 
Turkey and a renewal of the boycott of Greek commerce. 
When we remember that the goal for which Venizelos was 
striving wasfihe redemption of Hellas and not simply the 
aggrandizement of the Kingdom of Greec^Jand that his 
principal backing was the merchant class of Ottoman 
Greek origin and affiliations, we understand why Veni- 


zelos subordinated the Macedonian frontier to what he 
believed was the greater good of the Hellenic race. 

As long as Greece was superior on the sea, she did not 
have to fear Turkish aggression. But Turkey ordered two 
dreadnoughts in England and submarines and destroyers 
in France. Venizelos countered by looking around for 
immediate additions to the Greek navy. He entered into 
negotiations to buy the Idaho and the Mississippi from 
the United States to preserve Greece's sea mastery. 

Obstructionist tactics in diplomatic negotiations and 
naval rivalry were inevitable; and they could be fought by 
other means than war. Venizelos sat tight on the lid for 
many months after the Treaty of Bukarest. To restrain 
the chauvinism of his compatriots, flushed by victory in 
two wars, Was the hardest job he ever tackled. But (as 
he confessed to the Greek Chamber four years later) his 
bellicose language to Turkey, which could be indulged in 
as long as the Turkish dreadnoughts were on the ways in 
England, was simply a bluff. "I believed it was to our 
national interest to have a long period of peace as much 
as it depended upon us. I hoped that the Anatolian ques- 
tion could have been postponed for a whole generation, so 
that Greece might have solved it by herself." 

The anti-Greek movement became well defined early in 
1914. Following the old custom of retreating with the 
crescent before the cross, large numbers of Macedonian 


Turks left the liberated r^ons. These mouhadjairs 
(refugees) trekked with all their bebu^ngs to the coast 
rc^ons of Asia NGnor. The Ottoman authorities encour- 
aged them to install themselves in Greek communities, ex- 
pelling the Qiristians. The extension of this movement 
will be followed in a later chapter.^ It had already assumed 
proportions alarming enough in the early summer of 1914 
to convince Venizelos that drastic action would be nec- 
essary before long to save from extinction the Ottoman 
Greeks of the .£gean littoral. 

VenizeloSy however, determined to leave no stone un- 
turned to avoid a new conflict with Turkey. He accepted 
with alacrity the suggestion of a direct conference with 
Turkish representatives at Brussels, and was on his way 
to the Belgian capital when the World War broke out. 
Venizelos has never been the man to hesitate. He saw in 
the war the Deus ex machina for Greece. Thoroughly 
posted as to the relations between Germany and Turkey, 
he grasped the unique opportunity for Greece to settle her 
quarrel with Turkey by allying herself with the Entente. 
He hastened back to Athens with his mind made up. He 
knew that Turkey was going to intervene on the opposite 
side. He felt that Bulgarian neutrality could be bought by 
territorial cessions, a price well worth while if there were 
compensation in sight at the expense of Turkey. Greece 

> See chapter xiv. 


could not aflFord to let Austria-Hungary crash Turkey. 
If Greece got in ahead of Italy, there would be no question 
of Northern Epiras at the Peace Conference, and Venizelos 
could ask boldly for the Dodecanese and Cyprus. Repre- 
senting Greece, an ally from the beginning of the strag- 
gle, he could forestall a secret understanding among the 
Entente Powers for the inheritance of the Ottoman Em- 
pire. If an understanding had to be made, Greece could be 
in on it and prevent the attribution of her unredeemed 
lands to others than herself. 

At Mimich, where Venizelos received the news of the 
Austrian ultimatum and of the outbreak of war between 
Austria and Serbia, a telegram came to him from Mr. 
Pasitch inquiring the attitude of Greece in the event of 
hostilities. Venizelos answered that as far as the war with 
Austria was concerned, the Greek Government needed 
more information before an answer could be given, but in 
regard to a possible attack of Bulgaria against Serbia, 
Greece would intervene to help Serbia. 

It was impossible for Venizelos to promise more than 
that. He had first to ascertain what degree of protection 
and aid the big allies of Serbia were able and willing to give 
Greece. Venizelos realized that the Treaty of Bukarest was 
in danger, and that an imderstanding between Bulgaria 
and Turkey, independent of participation in the European 
war, might be possible. What if Bulgaria and Turkey 


should take advantage of the European war to fall upon 
Greece ? Might they not do this without allying themselves , 
withGennany? In that case^ unless Greece had beoome an 
ally of the Entente Powers, she would be left to face a 
superior coalition on land and sea: on land, because the 
ally upon whom she had counted in such a contingency, 
Serbia, was abready involved to the limit of her forces in 
defending her northern and western frontiers from Austria- 
Hungary; on sea, because collusion between Turkey and 
the Central Powers might give Turkey the supremacy of 
the JEgcsLU^ despite the additions to the Greek navy. No 
European statesman worried more about the Goeben and 
Breslau than did Venizelos. 

On the morning of August 2 a Cabinet Coimcil was held 
under the presidency of the King at the Palace. It was 
annoimced to the press that there was agreement "on all 
points as to the attitude of Greece In the Austro-Serbian 
conflict, which attitude would be one of absolute neutrality 
as long as Bulgaria and Turkey remained neutral."^ TTie 
enemies of Venlzelos later made capital of this announce- 
ment to attempt to prove that Venlzelos was not In favor 
of immediate Intervention. But they neglect the Implica- 
tion of the last words of the official bulletin. "As long as 
Bulgaria and Turkey remained neutral" was a phrase 
indicating that the attitude of "absolute neutrality'* was 

> See Athens Atkenai, July 23 (O. S.), 1914. 


contingent upon the conflict not spreading to the Bal- 

Venizelos believed that Turkey would enter the war. 
He suffered from no illusions on this score. As early as 
August 6 his information from Constantinople told him 
how the wind was blowing on the Bosphorus, The Goeben 
and Breslau took refuge in the Golden Horn, and on Au- 
gust 9 Turkey announced that she had purchased these 
two ships. 

Venizelos went immediately to the King, after conferring 
with his Cabinet, and convinced Constantine of the ad- 
visability of declaring that Greece was not merely in the 
consciousness of her indebtedness to the Guaranteeing 
Powers, but, "from a clear conception of her vital in- 
terest as a nation, understood that her place was at the 
side of the Powers of the Entente." But owing to the dan- 
gers in Bulgaria, Greece was imable to reinforce the Ser- 
bians, much less send an expeditionary force to France, 
and yet Greece "thought it her duty to declare to the 
Powers of the Entente that, if Turkey went to war against 
them, Greece would place all her military and naval forces 
at the disposal of the Entente for the war against Turkey, 
always presupposing that Greece be guaranteed against 
the Bulgarian danger." 

This declaration was not immediately made to the En- 
tente Powers. Having the authorization, Venizelos was 


content to wait until the confused international diplomatic 
situation became clearer. However, the initial victories 
of the Germans were so rapid and complete that Venizelos 
felt it would be wiser to make the overture to the Entente 
Powers without further delay. He chose the moment when 
the Germans had reached Compiegne. In case the Ger- 
n:ians lost the Battle of the Mame, he did not want it to 
be said that Greece was siding with the winner.. 

The Greek Premier was afterwards bitterly reproached 
for having bound Greece to the Entente in this way at a 
time when God only knew who was going to win. All the 
more so because he did not try to bargain with the Entente 
Powers as to the recompense Greece should receive in case 
she took part with them in the war against Turkey. This 
move has often been cited by the enemies of Venizelos to 
prove that he let his friendship for the Entente, especially 
for Great Britain, obscure his judgment, and was willing 
to involve Greece in war against the interests of Greece. 
If it was not blind admiration for the Entente and unrea- 
soning confidence in the outcome of the war, said his 
enemies, it was his obsession to rebuild the Byzantine 
Empire on the ruins of Turkey. Did he not throw pru- 
dence to the winds ? After each disaster to Entente arms, 
did he not persist in maintaining that Greece ought to 
have intervened? 

In his remarkable speech of August 26, 191 7, Venizelos 


defended himself with spirit and wit against this accusa- 
tion. Although I am anticipating events, it is advan- 
tageous to present the defense at this place. Said Veni- 

"Imagine the prestige and authority which Greece 
would have acquired if she had succeeded through her own 
efforts in tremendously influencing the history of the world 
by shortening by a whole year the history of the war. Yet 
after the withdrawal from the Dardanelles, our opponents 
said they had saved Greece — because without Greek 
help the expedition had proved a failure. 

"You will notice, gentlemen, that remarkable good 
faith of our opponents who judge our policy not on a con- 
sideration of the effects which it would have produced if it 
had been honestly applied, but on a consideration of the 
consequences which arose precisely because it was not 
applied. And they say: * You see that the expedition was a 
failure.' Of course it was a failure, because the immediate 
and stunning cooperation of Greece was the one factor 
which could have secured its success. 

"Our * saviors' of to-day are exactly the same as the 
^saviors' we should have had in 1912, if, when I proposed 
that we take part in the war which the two other Balkan 
States had decided upon, King George, who was opposed 
to that war, had resembled even distantly his son Con- 
stantine, and had wanted like him to follow his own 
policy, saying: *I don't want to fight; I cannot cooperate 
with Serbia and Bulgaria in a war against Turkey, if you 
have n't even cleared up for me the question of what we 
are each to take.' 

"Only suppose King George had been like King Con- 


stantlne ! Is it possible to doubt that his policy would have 
been praised for its prudence, and that I should have been 
accused with apparent justice of being visionary and belli- 
cose, and every one would have said: *Qf course the poor 
King was right — we had n't even settled what we were to 
have ! ' 

^^ And now imagine what the consequences might have 
been if we had taken no part in the war against Turkey. 
By the inactivity of the Greek fleet, Turkey would have 
been enabled to transport her army from Asia Minor to 
European Turkey, and probably to overcome Serbia and 
Bulgaria. And then who could have coimted the ^saviors' 
of the moment who would have been saying: * We have the 
good old King to thank; you see, we're well out of it! You 
see, that man Venizelos is mad as a hatter, wanting to take 
part in the war, to be the finish of us, although it was quite 
obvious that Turkey would win ' — for such, I may say, 
was the opinion of all the inilitary authorities at the time, 
and the Russian military attache in Constantinople in- 
formed us that Turkey would put 900,000 men in the 
field. I have made this supposition in order to show how 
utterly unsound is the argument of our opponents. They 
want, I repeat, to judge our policy, which was never car- 
ried out, and its result, by the misfortunes which super- 
vened for the very reason that it was not carried out, and 
that they themselves would not allow it to be carried out.*' 

There was little that the opponents of Venizelos could 

answer to this line of reasoning. Had he not believed in the 

truth of "nothing venture, nothing gain,'* the two Balkan 

Wars would never have been fought. And there was as 

much reason for risking something in 1914 and 1915 as in 


191 2. The firm faith of Venizelos in the final victory of the 
Entente, so often proclaimed during the war, has been 
justified by the results. But it would be unfair to Venizelos 
to allow the defense of his interventionist policy to rest 
solely upon the argument Venizelos advanced above. For 
the statesmanlike vision of the Greek Premier embraced 
and held fast to factors in the situation to which many 
friends of Greece as well as enemies of Venizelos remained 
blind. The victory of the Entente was not certain. It 
never was certain until the United States had demon- 
strated its ability to transport a large army to France. 
Faith is a valuable asset for a statesman. No man ever 
accomplished great things who was unwilling to take a 
gamble. At every stage in his career the successful man 
is called on to bet upon uncertainties. 

Venizelos could plead justification for the stand he took 
without hesitation at the very beginning of the war on the 
twofold groimd of the impossibility of Greece aiding, even 
negatively, in the maintenance of the integrity of the 
Ottoman Empire and the impossibility of Greece taking 
sides against England and France. 

' If Greece remained neutral when Turkey entered the 
war, Greece would be particeps criminis in forging the 
chains that still bound half the Greek race in servitude 
to Islam. And the events of the past few years had proved 
that the Young Turk servitude spelled extermination. 


If Greece entered the wmr — ^viiich wu die altemmlxve 
to neutrality — it must be on the ude of the Entente 
Powers, irrespective of the relative chances of victory of 
the two groups of belligerents. Even were the Entente to 
lose the war or cany it on only to a draw, the obligatioa 
of redeemed Greece to unredeemed Greece and the superior 
political and economic interests of Greece ^ctated allying 
herself with the Entente Powers. This sound foreign 
policy was well expressed by Venizdos at Saloniki^ oo 
November 25, 1916, when the Provisional Government 
declared war against Germany and Bulgaria. In this 
speech that announced his definite break with King 
Constantine and the Athens Government, after more than 
two years of conflict of words and pleading, Venizelos 

^^We wish to emphasize in a tangible and complete 
manner our absolute conviction that Greece can never 
progress, nor even exist, as a free and independent state 
except by continued maintenance of the closest contact 
with those Powers that rule the Mediterranean." 

The critics of Venizelos, at home and abroad, have 
never had in mind either the interests of Hellas, taken as a 
whole, or the fact of the dependence of Greece upon Great 
Britain and France. The conception of the obligation of 
redeemed Greece to unredeemed Greece has been dis- 
torted to megalomania and imperialism, and the wise 
decision of Venizelos to throw in the lot of Greece with 


"those Powers that rule the Mediterranean" has been in- 
terpreted as blind championship of the cause of one group 
of belligerents against the other. The geographical position 
of Greece, her island possessions, her Anatolian aspira- 
tions, her dependence upon sea-borne commerce, were 
peremptory reasons for offering immediately to join the 
Entente Alliance. 

Although he had received the authorizadon of the Crown 
to offer the participation of Greece in case Turkey joined 
the Central Empires, Venizelos discovered within a week 
that the ELing had changed his mind. As a result of the 
offer made by Venizelos to the Entente, the British 
admiralty instructed Admiral Kerr to come to an under« 
standing with the Greek General Staff in order to study 
the possibility of attacking and working out plans for 
occupying the peninsula of Gallipoli. King Constantine 
feigned surprise at the demarche. He said to Admiral Kerr: 
**Why all this? I have no intention of making war against 
T\urkey. You know that Venizelos has spoken to me about 
this, and he feels very strongly about it. I agreed with 
him to this extent: if Turkey declares war against us, and 
you want to help us, I shall accept your help.'* 

Admiral Kerr, diunbfounded, was obliged to ask the 
King if he would allow him to communicate these remarks 
to the British Government as his answer. 

**I authorize you," the King replied, "to communicate 


them as my answer to jrour Government, but please re- 
member that you must call and see the Premier for him to 
confirm your telegram, for this reply must not be sent 
without his approval.*' 

Venizelos refused to allow any such response to be made 
to the British Government. On September 7, 1914, after 
he had received the message of Admiral Kerr, Venizelos 
turned from scanning the dubious bulletins of the Battle of 
the Mame to addressing a communication to his so verei gn 
that was destined to be the first letter in a long series. He 
went straight to the heart of the matter: 

"After the declarations conveyed by me in accordance 
with Your Majesty's authorization to the representatives 
of the Triple Entente and the telegrams exchanged be- 
tween the King of England and Your Majesty, I think it 
impossible that the answer given to-day by Your Majesty 
to Admiral Kerr could be that Greece refuses to fight 
against Turkey so long as Turkey is not the first aggressor. 

"As I had the honor to tell Your Majesty, it is, of 
course, impossible for us to proceed to an offensive war 
against Turkey unless we are assured of the cooperation, 
or at least of the absolute neutrality, of Bulgaria. 

"But to declare that under no circumstances, not even 
if this condition were fulfilled, should we be disposed to 
declare war on Turkey before Turkey attacks us, is clearly 
opposed to the well-understood interests of the nation. 
Let us not deceive ourselves. Turkey has long been waging 
an undeclared war against us. 

"If we refuse, on principle and quite unconditionally. 


to join in a war against Turkey, we do not thereby escape 
such a war, but only postpone it. And we do not even 
postpone it for very long. It is obvious that Turkey will 
want to settle her accounts with us before she demobilizes. 

"When we have before us the prospect of prosecuting 
the war against Turkey with the help of powerful and 
numerous allies, are we to throw away such an oppor- 
tunity in order to find ourselves some day compelled to 
fight the same war without allies and without friends ? 

" It is absolutely clear which course is preferable. But 
what I think confuses the issues and in the mind of Your 
Majesty and Mr. Streit produces a feeling of opposition 
to the course I recommend, is simply the desire not to 
offend Germany by imdertaking a war against Turkey 
in cooperation with the Powers which are fighting her.'* 

Venizelos did not know until later that his Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, Streit, had sent secretly, at the request 
of the King, a telegram from the King to his brother-in- 
law, Kaiser Wilhelm, stating plainly that under no cir- 
cumstances would the King make war against the Emper- 
or's allies unless they attacked him. But he shrewdly 
guessed the reason for the King's treatment of Admiral 
Kerr. This was the beginning of the long struggle of the 
King and his friends to keep Greece neutral for the sake of 
helping Germany. 

At this time Venizelos was unable to control the com- 
mimications between Athens and Berlin. He may have 
suspected, but could not prove, the disloyalty of his 


Idbiktor of Foraign Affiin tad tl^ 

Bat he protested nooe die lets agiuQtt die pfo<^ 

of his soverqgn. He went on to sty in his letter: 

**Why sbookl we hcve so mndi regard for die Boirar 
whose aim is to streqgdieii by every possible means die 
two principal enemies of Hellenism — Turkey and Bul- 
garia? And why should we show oursdves indifferent 
toward the very Powers who revived the Qrttk StateSi 
who have defended Greece in every c m ergenqr» and who 
are to-day again prqiared, if TVirkey &Us upon us» to 
stand by our ude?'' 

The letter ended by offering his reqgnation. 

King Constantine did not dare to acoq>t the resignation. 
It would have been impossible for him to have come out 
openly in favor of Germany then or at any later period. 
Venizelos had a powerful weapon with public opinion to 
use against Germany, and ELing Constantlne knew it. 
Had not Chancellor von Bethmann Hollweg told Veni- 
zelos at Corfu in April that Greece in negotiations with 
Turkey could not coimt on German support? Constantine 
refused to accept the resignation. The telegram to the 
British Government was not sent, and Admiral Kerr was 
put into communication with the General Staff in order to 
study the proposed enterprise. Minister of Foreign AflFairs 
Streit was caught later in th^ act of suggesting to the Ring 
both verbally and by written memoranda a policy favor- 
able to Germany and diametrically opposed to that of 


the Cabinet. The King did not dare to oppose his dis- 

I A month later Turkey entered the war, as the Premier 
predicted. The attitude that Venizelos had taken, how- 
ever, was nullified for the moment and his programme 
oould not be carried through because the Triple Entente 
refused the cooperation of Greece. This blunder was after- 
wards e]q)lained by a member of the Asquith Cabinet on 
the ground of "a sincere desire to limit the area of the con- 
flict, a profound reluctance to involve another state in the 
perils of this struggle, and the hope, the vain hope as it 
has proved, of achieving at a later stage unity of action 
among the Balkan peoples."^ 

The last of these reasons is true. The Entente Powers 
felt that It was unnecessary to play up to Greece, because 
their control of the sea put Greece at their mercy. Greece 
could not afford to be hostile to the Entente. Until the 
development of submarine warfare on an unanticipated 
scale, the Entente did not need to fear, and did not fear, 
the possibility of Greece aiding the Central Empires. It 
was quite another matter with Bulgaria. To keep Bul- 
garia neutral was more important than to have Greece as 
an ally. Bulgaria strictly neutral meant the isolation of 
Turkey. Therefore the Entente persisted in cherishing 

^ Compare speech of Winston Churchill at the Mansion House din- 
mttf June 27, 191S. 


what Winston Churchill confessed afterwards to be the 
"vain hope" of getting all the Balkan States on their side. 
So Entente diplomacy acknowledged and encouraged cau- 
tiously the friendship of Venizelos and at the same time 
took advantage of that friendship to play up to Bulgaria 
and offer bribes to Bulgaria at the expense of Serbia and 
Greece alike. 

The principal reason, however, for the refusal to accept 
the offer of Venizelos to ally Greece with the Entente 
Winston Churchill was unwilling to admit. In the autumn 
of 1914, and again in the early spring of 1915, Entente 
diplomacy was working for a far bigger stake than the 
intervention of Greece. London and Paris and Petrograd 
were concentrating their diplomatic activity at Rome. 
If Italy could be induced to join the Entente, it was be- 
lieved that the war would end in 1915. The statesmen who 
controlled Italy demanded of France and Great Britain 
and Russia, as the price of Italian intervention, the sacrifice 
of Greek aspirations, present and future. Almost every- 
thing that Italy demanded was directly opposed to the 
interests of Hellenism. The secret treaty, concluded in 
April, 1915, between Baron Sonnino and the Entente 
Powers, contained provisions awarding to Italy not only a 
sphere of influence on the Adriatic littoral and in the 
hinterland of the Balkan peninsula, but also on the iEgean 
littoral and in the hinterland of Asia Minor. One of the 


articles of this infamous treaty acknowledged the " right ** 
of Italy to keep the Dodecanese, a group of Greek islands 
that includes Rhodes. 

It is readily seen that Venizelos could not explain at 
the time, nor has he been able since to explain, this un- 
fortunate side of the difficulties imder which Greece 
labored in the early years of the World War. When one 
reads the speeches of Venizelos, the interviews with 
Venizelos, and the memoranda written by Venizelos since 
1914, one must take into account the obligatory silence 
of the Greek Premier on vital international diplomatic 
negotiations which throw much light upon the reasons for 
the failure of the policy of Venizelos and the change of 
heart of Greek statesmen and public opinion in 191 5 and 
1916. Advocating alliance with the Entente, Venizelos 
could not criticize or denounce the questionable diplomacy 
of Entente statesmen, which was undoubtedly inimical 
to the interests of Greece. What Venizelos hoped — and 
the hope has since been largely justified — was that after 
her entry into the conflict, Greece would be in a position 
to stand up for her rights and thwart the fulfillment of 
diplomatic agreements that were contrary to her interests. 
The relations of the Entente with Bulgaria and Italy, in 
fact, prompted him to redouble his efforts to secure for 
Greece standing as an ally in the councils of the coalition 
against Germany. 

aio VENIZEL06 

VenizeloB did not yield to dnooongement or diagim, 
he did not pout or nlk, he did not threatni or beseech. 
When he retlifeed that Rusna wu bUdmuufing Fnmoe and 
Gieat Britain on the eventual distributiaii of 'HiAidi 
qnib, and that Fiaaoe and England were nung the Otto- 
man inheritance as bait totaapt Itaty, he did nhat any 
next of kin would have done. He intimated to the Eritidi 
Foragn Office that Greece was the most interested heir, 
and that it would be wise to ^ve Greece an idea of iriiat 
would &U to her in case l^ukej died. He "t***-**^ no 
defimte answer. But to his delist. Sir Edward Grey made 
tangible prcxmses about Aria Minor. 

A glorious vista of the lealizarion of sacred h(^>e8 was 
before the eyes of Venizelos when he read the British note. 
It is not megalomania nor imperialism for a Greek to con- 
template the freeing from foreign yoke of one of the oldest 
and most vital parts of Hellas. It was incumbent upon 
Venizelos as a pious duty to make every effort and every 
sacrifice to realize this hope of centuries. Hie prcnnise of 
concessions in Asia Minor had condirions attached to it. 
But Venizelos, at no time during the World War, as has 
been charged by his enemies, was ready to involve his 
country in an enterprise against 'Hirkey without providing 
for conringencies. On this occasion, as on later occasions, 
he pointed out to the Entente what must be assured to 
Greece, for her own security, before Greece could inter- 


vene in the war. Venizelos later explained his policy after 
the receipt of the concessions oflFered by Sir Edward Grey. 
There were alternatives: 

**The endeavor to secure the cooperation of Rumania; 
the endeavor, failing that, to secure the cooperation of 
Bulgaria; and that being impossible without concessions, 
jrou find that the man responsible for the policy of the 
State is led, imwillingly indeed, to face the necessity of 
sacrificing a portion of Macedonian territory in order to 
obtain compensations which were so tremendously finer 
than the sacrifices imposed." 

In January, 191 5, Venizelos addressed two memoranda 
to King Constantine, giving his views as to the essential 
conditions of Greek cooperation with the Entente Powers 
to save Serbia and to destroy the Ottoman Empire. 

The memorandiun of January 11, inspired by the com- 
munication of Sir Edward Grey, declared that 

"Greece finds herself once more confronted with one of 
the most critical events of her national history. Until 
to-day our policy has consisted in the conserving of our 
neutrality, at least in so far as our engagement toward 
Serbia has not demanded our leaving it. But now we are 
called upon to take part in the war — no longer merely to 
discharge a moral duty, but in exchange for compensations 
which, when realized, will constitute a great and powerful 
Greece such as even the most optimistic could not have 
imagined a few years ago. To succeed in obtaining these 
great compensations, we shall imdoubtedly have to cop- 
front great dangers. But after having studied the question 


deeply and at length, I have arrived at the conclusion that 
we ought to face these dangers. We should confront them 
principally because even if we do not take part in the war, 
and if we endeavor to maintain our neutrality until the 
end of the war, we shall still be exposed to great risks." 

What these risks would be Venizelos set forth dearly: 
an Austro-German threat against Saloniki if Serbia were 
crushed, or the occupation of Serbian Macedonia by Bul- 

The essential conditions of Greek intervention against 
Turkey Venizelos believed to be the cooperation of Ru- 
mania and Bulgaria. He recognized that Bulgaria would 
have to be compensated by both Serbian and Greek terri- 
torial sacrifices in Macedonia. Greece had hitherto opposed 
Serbian concessions to Bulgaria. The menace to Serbia 
was now so great that Greece should withdraw her opposi- 
tion in order to enable Serbia thus to save herself. More- 
over, if the Serbian concessions were not suificient to at- 
tract Bulgaria to intervene against the Central Empires 
and Turkey by the side of her former allies, or at least 
to induce Bulgaria to maintain a benevolent neutrality, 
Venizelos would " not hesitate — painful as the act would 
be — to advise the sacrifice of Ka valla to save Hellenism 
in Turkey and to assure the creation of a really great 
Greece, comprising nearly all the countries where Hellen- 
ism had exercised her power during her long history 
through the centuries." 


In order to overcome the objection of abandoning Greek 
populations to Bulgaria, Venizelos proposed an exchange 
of properties and inhabitants under the supervision of 
an international commission, by which ''an ethnological 
segregation could definitely be accomplished and the idea 
of a Balkan confederation realized.'' 

The supreme justification for these sacrifices Venizelos 
believed to be the fact that the crushing of Serbia and the 
victory of the Central Powers in the European struggle 
would prove "a fatal blow to the independence of all little 
nations, without taking into consideration the immediate 
loss we should bear in the forfeiture of the islands. And, 
finally, for this reason also: that if the war should not end 
by definite victory of one side or the other, but by a return 
to the order existing before the war, the extermination of 
Hellenism in Turkey would come swiftly and inevitably." 

Following the first memorandum, Venizelos soxmded 
Riunania. The Rumanian Government intimated that 
military cooperation with Greece and Serbia could not be 
envisaged unless Bulgaria also participated. This answer 
led Venizelos to submit a second memorandiun on Janu- 
ary 17, in which he pointed out that Bulgaria held the key 
to the situation, and that it was now clear that sufficiently 
important concessions should be made to Bulgaria to in- 
duce her to enter into " a pan-Balkan alliance for a common 
participation in the war." Venizelos again insisted upon 


the neoesntjr of ceding Kavalk, althoa^ it mold be "a 
very painful sacrifice and my wbcAc being luffen pCD- 
fiaundly in advising it." But he pcnnted out diat it would 
mean a sacrifice of only 30^000 inhabitants and an aiea of 
2000 square kikxneters against a gain cf 8qO|000 inhalHt- 
ants and an area of 120,000 square kikimetiers. 

Once moK Venizekw advanced the cmsidenitioD upper- 
moat in his mind. Of the saving cf fiUlenism, he said: ■ 

**Sire, under these drcunutances I firmly bdieve that 
all hentatioQ should be put aude. It is doubtful — it is 
inq)robable that such an occanoa as tins which presents 
itself to us to-day will be offered again to Hellenism to rea- 
der so complete our national restoration. If we do not 
participate in the war, whatever may be its issue, Hellas 
in Asia Minor will be definitely lost to us. Because if, on 
the one hand, the powers of the Triple Entente gain the 
victory without us, they will share among themselves or 
with Italy both Asia Minor and the remainder of Turkey. 
If, on the other hand, Germany and Turkey are victorious, 
not only will the 200,000 Greeks already driven from Asia 
Minor have no longer the hope of returning to their homes, 
but the number of those who will be driven out later may 
take on alarming proportions. In any case the triumph of 
Germanism will assure for itself the absorption of the whole 
of Asia Minor. 

" Under these conditions, how can we let pass this oppor- 
tunity furnished us by divine Providence to realize our 
most audacious national ideals? The opportunity is offered 
us for the creation of a Greece absorbing nearly all the 
territory where Hellenism has predominated during its 


long and historic existence. This Greece, with stretches 
of the most fertile land, will assure to us the mastery of the 
iEgean Sea." 

Constantine remained obdurate. He declared: "Veni- 
zelos is a visionary . He lacks practical sense." The General 
Staff agreed with the King. 

From this moment the issue between King Constantine 
and his Premier was clear. For two years events played 
into the hands of the King. The visionary did not lose his 
vision. He won out in the end , as he had done in Crete and 
at the time of the first Balkan War. But, as always has 
been the case with great men pursuing great ideals, the 
path was per aspera ad astra. 




NOT the general questioa akme of the future of Hd- 
lenism^ but particular and pressing problems, die 
title to the .^E^gean Islands, and the Greeks ezpeUed horn 
Thraoe and Asia NGnor, prompted Venizelos to persuade 
Kmg Constantine and the General Sta£F to cooperate with 
the Entente Powers against Twrkcy in the taafy months 
of the European war. We remember that Venbeloi had 
reached Mumch on his way to Brussels to confer with 
the Ottoman Minister of Foreign Affairs when Austria- 
Hungary^s ultimatum to Serbia interrupted the journey of 
the Premier and necessitated the postponement of the 
conference. At the time Turkey abandoned her neutrality 
to join the Central Empires, Venizelos told an Italian 
journalist that relations with Turkey had been strained 
for some months. There were two unsettled questions, 
the status of the ^gean Islands and the disposition of 
refugees of both countries.^ 

Greek and Turkish delegates went to Bukarest for a 
conference. Because it was a question of mutual interests, 
agreement was reached (to a certain extent) regarding the 

^ See Milan Corriere della Sera, October 29, 191 4. 


refugees. There were over 50,ocx) Turkish refugees in 
Macedonia, and the Turks had expelled 200,000 Greeks 
from Thrace and Asia Minor, part of whom were crowded 
on islands and others were in a state of extreme destitution 
at the Piraeus and in the outskirts of Athens. A mixed 
commission was created for the exchange of refugees and 
to provide, wherever this was possible, for the return to 
their lands of those who wished to go back. 

Greece considered the ownership of the -^gean Islands 
settled, not only by the Treaties of London and Athens, 
but also by the imanimous decision of the Exirqpean Pow- 
ers. Venizelos was ready to give guarantees of property 
rights and religious freedom to Moslems if Turkey would 
recognize their occupation and administration by Greece 
under the same conditions as the other provinces of the 
Hellenic Kingdom. Turkey proposed to defer the definite 
settlement of the title of the Islands because of the Euro- 
pean war and her internal condition. Venizelos was far 
from satisfied. He felt that Turkey would act, when oc- 
casion offered, as she had acted for so long in the case of 
Crete. Was not the way out of the difficulty to join forces 
with the Entente Powers and solve the problem by war, 
as the Cretan problem had been solved? This seemed, 
moreover, the only way to settle the refugee problem and 
to put a stop to the horrible persecutions of Greeks in the 
Ottoman Empire. Venizelos recommended war as a neces- 


my tbep to preserve inxii deitittctioo HiriiHiiiio in tus 

Ottoman Enqnre. 

Neither the King nor die General Staff, both under 
German influence, ^m^thised with the puk-HeSaac 
visicm of the Premier. Tbey recognized no obUgations to 
the Greeks ootude of Greece. They rqiodiated the ob- 
ligatim to aid Seibia. Tlicy had no sense at gratitude to 
Great Britun for haTOig dedared, even before TViricey par- 
ticipated in the war, that the INiridah fleets whidi had be- 
come formidable because cf theacquintxHitrftheGodien 
and Brnslau, would not be allowed to leave the Dardan> 
elles to attack Greece. Tliey shewed "no interest in the 
tentative offer of Cyprus and the premise of a share in the 
inheritance of the Ottoman Empire that included Smyrna. 

The January memoranda of Venizelos lost in ioTce when 
it developed that Bulgaria had floated a loan of 500,000,- 
000 francs in Berlin. Venizelos had to agree that Bulgaria 
constituted a serious danger for a Greek army going to the 
aid of Serbia. With no military aid frran the Entente to 
offset the Bulgarian menace it would be impossible to 
fulfill the condirion attached to the Grey offer; i.e., that 
the Greek army advance as far as the Danube to the as- 
sistance of Serbia. 

At this moment came the news of the Frendi and British 
naval attack to force the Dardanelles. This appeared to 
Venizelos a new opportunity to put the Entente under 


obligation to Greece and secure the territorial concessions 
in Asia Minor without exposing the Greek army to a 
menace on the flank. Venizelos had to admit that the 
General Staff was right in insisting upon this. The Premier 
went immediately to the King, and proposed that a land- 
ing force, to cooperate with the Entente fleets, be pro- 
vided for Gallipoli by Greece. If one army corps were 
mobilized and sent to the Dardanelles, Greece would get 
into the war against Turkey without risking a Macedonian 
expedition. Venizelos thought that success in forcing the 
Straits would certainly keep Bulgaria neutral, if it did not 
induce her to join the Entente. He knew that Entente 
agents were spending large sums of money at Sofia to 
bribe Bulgarian politicians. And he had no faith in 
Bulgarian loyalty to Germany simply because of a loan 
floated at Berlin! 

The General Staff opposed this scheme also. This time 
the objections were not based upon military grounds, but 
inspired by political reasons. They said that Venizelos 
had no business to involve Greece in Asia Minor; that new 
territories could not be won and administered without 
drawing upon the vitality of the Greek nation; that any 
addition to Greece outside of the Balkans would be con- 
trolled by Great Britain because of mastery of the sea, 
and that Greek expansion in Asia Minor would make her 
the neighbor of Russians advancing along the southern 


shore of the Black Sea as far as Constantinople, of Ital- 
ians, of Turks, and of French. How could Greece defend 
herself with such frontiers ? 

Venizelos prepared a third memorandum, took it to the 
King, and insisted upon discussing it (He-d-lite. Neither 
King nor Premier has been willing since to disclose the 
text — or even the general contents — of this memo- 
randum. But one can well believe that it contained a 
frank refutation of the political objection of the General 
Staff to intervention in Asia Minor and as frank a state- 
ment of what Greece might eventually hope to obtain 
once she gained a good foothold in the region of Smyrna. 
I have no doubt that VeniKlos marshaled before his sov- 
ereign the reasons for believing that the Entente Powers 
could not maintain harmony and act together in the Near 
East once the war was won. Greece would not need to 
fear becoming embroiled in Asia Minor with any one of 
the Great Powers, because she could take advantage of 
their distrust of each other, not only to protect her own 
portion of the Sultan's inheritance, but also to expand at 
the expense of all the Powers until the unity of Hellas was 
achieved. Thus VeniKlos took Constantine on the moun- 
tain-top and showed him how the prophecy concerning 
the reign of the namesake of the founder and of the last 
sovereign of the Byzantine Empire might be fulfilled. 
The role was Constantine XIPs, if he were willing to play it. 


Speaking later of this interview, Venizelos said: 

**Thc King read the memorandum, and was visibly dis- 
turbed. For I must admit, to do bShoi justice, that he very 
rarely failed to be fully convinced whenever I was in his 
presence. Such was the earnestness with which I spoke, 
so strong were the arguments that were set forth in the 
memorandum, that the King, who quite evidently, as is 
clearly proved by subsequent events, had from the very 
beginning promised the Emperor of Germany that he 
would never be found in the Entente camp unless one of 
the Balkan States directly attacked him — the King said 
to me with great emotion, I remember the very words: 
*Very well, then, in God's name.' That is to say, he 

But when Venizelos came out of the audience chamber 
into the anteroom, he found waiting for him Colonel 
Metaxas, Chief of the General Staff, who handed him an 
envelope and said: "Mr. President, this is my resignation. 
I cannot remain Chief of Staff if a policy of which I do not 
personally approve is decided upon." 

Venizelos was taken aback. He did not worry over 
losing the services of Metaxas. But he saw that political 
opinions were affecting military judgment. German propa- 
ganda was getting in its good work. On the street news- 
boys were crying: "Colonel Metaxas has resigned!" 
Venizelos knew then that the Chief of the General Staff 
had carried insubordination to the point of announcing 
his resignation to the press before he had presented it to 


the Premier. Such a breach of discipline would inevitably 
have its effect upon Bulgaria. It was a revelation of di- 
vided counsels in Greece over the question of intervention, 
all the more serious because a high officer of the army had 
dared to mix into politics and raise publicly a political 
issue with the head of the Government. 

There was no time to be lost. Venizelos sent a letter to 
the King, asking that he be allowed to summon a council 
of former Premiers imder the Presidency of the King in 
order to hear their views on the issue squarely raised by 
the resignation, in this strange fashion, of the Chief of 

In the Crown Council Rallis and Dragoiunis sustained 
Venizelos, and agreed that it would be dangerous for the 
King and Cabinet to allow their policy of intervention to 
be questioned by Metaxas. But Theotokis insisted that 
the former Chief of Staff be called before them to give his 
views. At a second Crown Council, on March 5, Venizelos 
modified his original proposal, and asked for a division in- 
stead of an army corps. He argued that if only one Greek 
division took part in the Dardanelles expedition, it would 
be sufficient to establish the principle of intervention and 
to remove the objection that Greece was weakening her 
army in the face of Bulgaria. Then the next move would 
be up to the Entente. They could either secure the defi- 
nite guarantee of Bulgarian neutrality, or promise them- 


selves to ^ve Greece effective aid should Bulgaria attack 
Greece. All the former Premiers expressed the opinion 
that the Kang was boimd to accept the modified proposal 
of his Government. Theotokis admitted that his own 
opinion, which was for maintaining neutrality, was not 
shared by the Greek people, and wamed Constantine that 
the Crown must not count upon his support in event of 
the rejection of the advice of the Government. The Crown 
Council then unanimously adopted the plan of sending 
the Greek fleet and one division to cooperate with the 
Anglo-French fleet. 

In the first attack on the Dardanelles, February 19, 
1915, the British and French fleets bombarded and re- 
duced the forts at the iEgean Sea and of the Strait. A 
week of mine-sweeping followed, and another week was 
lost on accoimt of unfavorable weather. The bombard- 
ment of the forts in the narrows was begun on March 5, 
the very day the Crown Council reconmiended Greek 
participation. But after having announced that the strait 
would be forced, the British and French contented them- 
selves with further bombardment, and retired for another 
period of mine-sweeping. 

Was it this second delay that influenced the King to 
change his mind? He has never told us. But whatever 
was the cause of his decision to reject the unanimous 
recommendation of his Premier and ex-Premiers, on the 


morning of March 6 King Constantine announced that 
Greece would not participate in the Dardanelles campaign. 
Venizelos presented his resignation. It was accepted, and 
the King called upon Goimaris to form a Cabinet to cany 
out the policy of maintaining strict neutrality. There was 
much excitement throughout Greece, but before the coun- 
try could be thoroughly aroused on the issue of inter- 
vention, King Constantine was saved by the failure of the 
Allied attempt to force the passage of the Dardanelles. 
On March i8 the French battleship Bouvet and the British 
battleships Irresistible and Ocean struck mines and sank. 
Simultaneously with the announcement of this disaster, 
the Athens newspapers published dispatches from London 
and Paris disclosing the anxiety of Great Britain and 
France over German submarine activity in the Mediter- 
ranean and the Atlantic. 

The battleships lost in the Dardanelles attempt had 
evidently struck mines that had drifted down the current. 
This demonstrated the futility of the long and costly 
mine-sweeping that preceded the effort of the fleets. Con- 
stantine and his friends were thus able to make capital 
out of the Entente naval reverse. If the King had not 
interposed his veto, Greek ships and their crews might 
have been needlessly sacrificed. Every unit in the Greek 
fleet was precious. The Entente Powers might be able to 
afford to throw away their ships in this fashion, but not 


Greece! Here was an opportunity to contrast the judg- 
ment of the King with that of Venizelos. In order to prove 
his willingness to join the Entente in an "enterprise that 
had a reasonable chance of success/' to quote the King's 
words, Constantine told the foreign correspondents at 
Athens that he had sent two staff officers to Malta to point 
out the folly of a naval attack on the Dardanelles, and 
also of combined naval and military operations unless 
undertaken on a large scale. 

The apolo^sts of the policy of King Constantine re- 
garding the Dardanelles, and of his subsequent attitude 
towards the question of intervention on the side of the 
Entente Powers, make three points: (i) that King Con- 
stantine and the General Staff were always willing to 
intervene, provided the Entente Powers agreed to con- 
ditions essential to the success of military operations and 
to the safety and honor of Greece; (2) that subsequent 
events proved that the King was right and Venizelos 
wrong; and (3) that Great Britain and France were all 
along betraying and sacrificing the interests of Greece — 
"selling out Greece," to use a frank term — in their ne- 
gotiations with Russia, Italy, and Bulgaria. Volumes have 
been written pro and contra on the Dardanelles oppor- 
tunity and the obligation of Greece under the treaty with 
Serbia.^ A biographer of Venizelos is imable to discuss in 

^ Cf . the defenae of the King in CanstatUitu I and the Creek People^ by 


detail these oontzx^fvenies. Telliiig tibe story of an event- 
fid He deinands a sense of proportioiu The Seilnan treaty 
issue may be regarded as one of interpretation. But the 
Dardanelles issue, whidi proiroked tibe first resignation of 
Venizelos in March, 1915, is one of political judgment, 
and the points raised on behalf of Constantine — to the 
discredit of Venizelos — cannot be ignored and passed 
over in silence. 

In regard to the third of the pdnts made by the friends 
of the ez-King, its truth must be admitted. We know 
definitely that Russia, when the question of intervention 
was first raised, refused to allow the partidpation of 
Greek troops in the capture of Constantinople; we have 
before our eyes the text of the shameless secret treaty 
with Italy of April, 1915, in which the Italians are pven 
what Sir Edward Grey intimated to Venizelos would fall 
to Greece; and the Entente negotiations at Sofia were in- 
defensible on the groimd of common decency as well as of 
common sense. But these revelations do not detract frcnn 
the reputation of Venizelos. On the contrary, they give 
added force to his contention that Greece could not afford 
to stay out of the war, and they enhance our admiration 

Paxton Hibben, and the exposition of the Venizelist policy in Ainsi Parla 
Feniulos^ by Leon Maccas. The former, by the correspondent of the 
Associated Press at Athens, gives the King's attitude as explained by him- 
self, and the latter contains valuable references to diplomatic correspond- 
ence and the Venizelist newspapers. 


of his forbearance, his unfaltering courage, and his political 
genius. For the disgraceful diplomacy of the Entente 
Powers kept putting difficulties in the way of Venizelos 
and gave arguments to the Kang and his other enemies. 
On more than one occasion it made the continued insist- 
ence upon the necessity of Greece fighting to aid those who 
were woimding her pride and sacrificing her interests a 
political risk few statesmen have dared to incur. 

The first and second points, if admitted^ would make 
Venizelos appear, at this great crisis in his country's his- 
tory, a disappointed and self-seeking politician and a pure 

We have seen how King Constantine changed his mind 
in August, 1914, and consented to retract what he said 
to Admiral Kerr and to confer with the Entente military 
and naval authorities only when Venizelos threatened to 
resign. His naval pourparlers at Malta were negative. 
When Venizelos insisted upon taking the opportunity 
offered by the Dardanelles, Constantine at first consented, 
then took the matter before a Crown Council, which recom- 
mended adopting the proposal of Venizelos, and the next 
day changed his mind again. This time he accepted the 
resignation of Venizelos, and chose a reactionary Cabinet 
with Gounaris as Premier. The'necessity of a new general 
election was admitted, but the date of the election was 
postponed until June 13. In the meantime the King knew 


that he would have a free hand. He waited for a month 
(during which the Dardanelles were fortified), and then 
authorized Foreign Minister Zographos to put the fol- 
lowing conditions as the sine qua non of Greek inter- 
vention : 

!• Guarantee of territorial integrity of Greece, con- 
tinental and insular, including Northern Epirus. 

2. Extent and nature of Greece's military contribution 
to be fixed by special convention. 

3* Exact statement of territorial compensations and 
other concessions. 

On their face these conditions seem reasonable. The 

Constantinists have since contended that they meant 
simply a guarantee against Bulgaria, a precaution against 
the intention of the Entente to use Greek troops in Egypt 
or on the Danube instead of against Turkey, and a de- 
termination to have the same clear understanding with 
the Entente that Baron Sonnino insisted upon for Italy. 
Venizelos, on the other hand, would have rushed in with- 
out conditions, and have involved Gfeece single-handed 
in a war with Bulgaria, at the same time finding himself 
jockeyed out of expected advantages from intervention 
by Russia and Italy. The Constantinists declare that the 
King of Greece was warned by the Russian Court that 
there was nothing for Greece in the Dardanelles expedition 
and that Greek troops would never be allowed to enter 


Constantinople. This seems to be substantiated by the 
admission of Winston Churchill,^ who said: 

"When the collapse of Turkish resistance appeared to 
be inmiinent, the second chance of Greek intervention was 
thrown away, rendered unavailing through the delays in- 
troduced by the Russian autocracy, who at this critical 
moment, when hours counted, were occupying themselves 
in disputing whether Greek troops should or should not be 
allowed to participate in the triumphal entry into Con- 

The Constantinist argument, however, takes no accoimt 
of chronology, which is all-important in arriving at the 
merits of the Dardanelles intervention question. Two 
days after the resignation of Venizelos, the Greek Gov- 
ernment knew by a telegram from Romanes, Minister at 
Paris, that France had obtained Russia's consent to the 
imconditional participation of Greece. As for Italy and 
her claims, we must remember that the secret treaty was 
not signed until April 25. Had King Constantine been 
sincere in his desire to intervene, he could have taken up 
the question again on March 10, when Greek cooperation 
would have been precious. He knew well enough that 
every day aided the German engineers to make the 
Dardanelles impregnable. And yet, five weeks later, 
Zographos presented conditions that were indefinite and 
debatable, and that postponed the moment of interven- 
tion until kalends truly Greek ! 

^ At the Mansion House dinner, June 27, 1918. 


Even if we did not have the ooneflpondenoe bet w een 
King Constantine and tibe Slaiser to confirm oiir mmpit- 
€kmB^ the often entered into and never consummated ne» 
godatkms between Constantine's General Sta£F and the 
Entente Powers ffvc tibe impresrion of bad faidi on the 
part of the Greek King. I once had an artist friend in 
Paris who, after mipaid dd)ts had aocumiilated» an- 
nounced suddenly his intention of gdng home. Qneofhis 
creditors, with evident embarrassment, mentioned a sum 
due him. The debtor answered instantty, ^I don't nund 
your asking about the money. Don't led embarrassed. 
Just ask me for it whenever you fed like it.*^ Constantine 
was the artist — frank and friendly. He always wanted 
the Entente Powers to feel that they could negotiate with 
his General Staff about intervention whenever they had 
the impulse. Each time he listened and gave advice to 
Allied diplomats and military missions, and then sum- 
moned the correspondent of the Associated Press to 
moum over the stupidity of the Entente. Why did they 
not let Greece help them.^ It looked so easy! And all the 
while the Greek General Staff's military conditions were 
impossible of fulfillment, and the Greek Foreign Office's 
conditions would have disrupted the Entente Alliance. In 
the spring of 1915, and during the long, weary period after 
Venizelos's second resignation, good faith was lacking. 
Venizelos cannot be blamed for what happened when he 


was out of office. Nor can it be asserted that he would 
have been unsuccessful in solving the problem of inter- 
vention, had the King allowed him to remain Premier. 
For he was successful later, when conditions were even 
more serious than in 191 5: and he was successful both in 
the military and diplomatic phases of intervention without 
having demanded of or secured from the Entente Powers 
acceptance of conditions similar to those of the Zographos 

The second point of the Constantinists, that subsequent 
events proved that the King was right and Venizelos 
wrong in the matter of the Dardanelles, has also been ar- 
gued without taking into consideration chronology. What 
happened from May to December, 191 5, on Gallipoli 
Peninsula is no proof at all that a joint sea and land at- 
tack, made possible by Greek cooperation, would have 
failed at the moment Venizelos urged it; that is, in the 
first week of March. The Greek Premier has never de- 
fended more cogently than he defended post factum his 
Dardanelles intervention policy of February, 1915.^ Com- 

* See the text of the speeches delivered in the Greek Chamber from 
August 24 to 26, 191 7, in the English translation, The Vindication oj 
Greek National Policy: 1912-1917 (London, 1918). Paxton Hibben's 
Constantine I and the Greek People (New York, 1920) was written in 191 7, 
and withheld from publication because of American intervention in the 
war. In justice to himself, however, Mr. Hibben should have added an 
appendix, before his book was given to the public, setting forth the facts 
revealed in the Greek Chamber in August, 191 7. His volume bears the 
statement that it was published in June, 191 7, but contains in Appendix 5 


menting, more than two years later in the Greek Cham- 
ber, upon the official British parliamentary report on the 
Dardanelles Expedition, Venizelos said: 

"Whoever studies the conclusions of this report will 
discover that if the deposed King had followed the policy 
which it was his duty to follow, because it was indicated, 
not simply by the Government representing the majority 
of the coimtry, but by the other party leaders as well; if 
the King had followed this course and Colonel Metaxas 
had not become a tool of German policy by resigning and 
engendering those momentary hesitations; if we had made 
use of one army corps, or even after all of a single division, 
the seizure of Gallipoli would have been a military exploit 
of no great difficulty. Five days after the decree of mobili- 
zation the army corps I asked for would have been mo- 
bilized, and in another nine days, with the abundance of 
material which we and our Allies had at our disposal, 
we should have found ourselves with our army corps, or 
even with our one division, in occupation of the Gallipoli 
Peninsula, which was unguarded, ungarrisoned, and un- 

Venizelos argued that "the task which 100,000 or 200,- 
000 men were not equal to later on, when the place had 
been fortified under the guidance of German military sci- 
ence, would have been child's play for the Greek army in 
those early days, when I discerned the state of affairs and 
advised the attack." In proof of this assertion he read to 

(PP- 575"77) quotations from the Corriere delta Sera of November 7 and 1 1, 
191 7, several months after Venizelos made his famous speech at Athens. 


the Chamber a series of dispatches from the Greek Minis- 
ters at Constantinople and Sofia and the Greek Consul at 
Philippopolis to demonstrate his knowledge at the time of 
the demoralization of the Turkish Government and of the 
fact that there were only 6000 Turkish troops at the Dar- 
danelles, "Imapne," he cried, "the prestige and author- 
ity Greece would have acquired if she had succeeded by 
her own efforts in tremendously influencing the history 
of the world by shortening even by one whole year this 


After his resignation Venizelos went for a short vacation 
to Spetsae and then to Egypt. It was his first vacation af- 
ter five continuous years in oflice. When he retumed, the 
police refused to allow him to land at the Piraeus, where a 
demonstration had been arranged in his honor, and he dis- 
embarked at Phaleron. A few days later, when the na- 
tional holiday was celebrated, he was forbidden to leave 
his house. No opportunity was given him to take part in 
the campaigning for the approaching election. On the 
other hand, the Government and the Court did every- 
thing in their power to influence and intimidate the voters. 
The Liberal Party candidates presented themselves on 
June 13 without having had the opportunity, either in the 
press or on the platform, to explain and defend their policy 
and to plead for the endorsement of their great leader. In 
Old Greece the King's party did not dare to abuse their 


cppoftunhgr too greatl;^. But in Nov Greece the Govern- 
ment save die Venis^tta no diuoe iriuttercr. £vea i1m 
bitterest enemies ol Venodos had to admh tbat Adnind 
GoudaSt pveD a &ee hand bj ibe Govonment to "ar^ 
range** die dectkos in Macedonia iriiere a dean a a uji 
for dw liberal FIUI7 was antic^tedl, mot too br. Oofy 
four Uberai d^nties were returned out of aevutjMhree 
nonnalty Vcmadist circmntcr i nrinni of Afioedonia* 

For all die abase of pcnnr and open inimudadaa 
and refusal to allow Vemados to campaign, (Xd Greeoa 
gave Vemados 123 oat of 184 seats. Hie idands yoted 
k^dfy for hun. So, deq^te die **ooanting out** of Aa 
liberal Party m Macedonia, the elecdcpn of June 13 was 
a triumph for Vemzelos. Of 310 seats the liberal Paitjr 
won 184, a clear majority of 58 over the other parties 

Since Venizelos had published in full, keeping nothing 
back, the memoranda of January, 1915, and since he had 
resigned the premiership in March as a protest against the 
King's policy of non-intervention, it was surprising to hear 
Constantine stating, abnost immediately after his signal 
defeat at the polls, "Tlie people elected Venizelos, not his 
policy." It was a tremendous, if unwilling, tribute to the 
pc^ularity of Vemzelos: but the contention was ridiculous. 
Venizelos was popular because of what he had accom- 
plished for Greece. Tbe electorate supported him agunst 


the King and Court and Church and General • Staff be- 
cause they trusted then: great Premier, and wanted him 
back in office to lead the nation forward along the path 
that seemed best to him. The man and his policy could 
not be divorced. 

The Gounaris Cabinet, repudiated by the electorate, 
hid behind the preteict of the King's illness to attempt to 
remain in office. For more than two months Gounaris re- 
fused to resign.^ The King was in seclusion. The Govern- 
ment declared that in the critical state of the King's health 
it would be impossible to have a change of Cabinet. The 
Liberal Party leaders answered that the Constitution pro- 
vided for this emergency, and that if the King were in- 
capable of performing his functions, a regency should be 
set up. In the meantime the German propaganda made 
every effort to use the Russian setback in Poland and the 
unsuccess of the Gallipoli campaign to influence Greek pub- 
lic opinion. As was leamed later, on July 30 King Con- 
stantine and Premier Goimaris informed Germany that 

Greece would remain neutral in case Bulgaria attacked 
Serbia. Early in August Warsaw fell, and Baron Schenck, 

^ Hibben, op, cit., p. 39, dismisses this period of seventy days, so im- 
portant in the history of the struggle between Constantine and Venizelos, 
in one brief sentence, as follows: "Following the elections, Prime Minister 
Gounaris resigned, and King Constantine summoned Venizelos to the 
premiership." He also fails to mention the conditions under which Veni- 
zelos told the King he would accept office, and to which Consuntine 


head of the German propaganda at Athens, filled tibe 
Government newspapers with prophecies of the trium- 
phant end of the war before winter set in. 

When the King recovered, however, the vercUct of pub- 
lic qpinion oould no bnger be ignored. On August 23 King 
Constantine dedded that he must make the best of a bad 
business, and invited Venizelos, as majority leader in the 
new Chamber, to form a Cabinet. Venizelos consented, if 
the King would agree that ^we must come back to our 
original policy and abide by the principles laid down at 
the beginning of the war, chief of which was never to allow 
Bulgaria to crush Serbia." The King gave his approval to 
this policy, and Venizelos immediately went before the 
Chamber to state that he had accepted the premiership 
after having come to an agreement with the King that 
Greece should not suffer any Bulgarian aggression against 
Serbia. This waming was not out of a clear sky. It was 
known to the public that Bulgaria had signed a railway 
accord with Turkey on July 15, which paved the way for 
her intervention in the war on the side of the Central 

The opponents of Venizelos charge that if his return to 
power had been regarded by him as an endorsement of 
his war policy, Venizelos would have immediately ranged 
Greece on the side of the Entente Powers. They point to 
the fact that he annoimced the policy of returning to the 


neutrality adopted at the beginning of the war because he 
was astute enough politician to realize that the country 
was now against intervention, whatever may have been 
the feeling in the late winter when he resigned. Venizelos 
did not attempt at any time to conceal his abandonment 
of the Dardanelles policy. This did not mean, however, a 
confession that he had been wrong in March. On the con- 
trary, he made clear then, and has repeated several times 
since, that the psychological moment had passed. There 
was no longer any question of the Dardanelles. That was a 
matter of opportunity. But the contingency of Serbia be- 
ing attacked by Bulgaria was a matter both of treaty ob- 
ligation and of the vital interests of Greece. A blanket in- 
tervention of Greece on the side of the Entente had been 
advocated by Venizelos only at the commencement of the 
war. Since then some of the considerations that moved 
him in August, 1914, notably the desire to forestall Italy's 
claims in Asia Minor, no longer held good. 

As was often to happen during the next two years. En- 
tente diplomacy destroyed Greek confidence in the good 
faith of France and Great Britain more rapidly than Veni- 
zelos could build it up. Whenever the King needed an ar- 
gument for continuing neutrality, a military disaster or a 
diplomatic faux pas was furnished by the Entente. Two 
weeks before Venizelos returned to power. Great Britain, 
France, and Russia notified the Greek Government that 


Aqr hftd promised Bulgaria Kavalla and its hinterland, to 
lie enluged, the note ran, in proportion to Greek territorial 
caqMiinaa in Asia Minor. On the same day, August 5, 
Serina wu informed that the Entente intended to cede to 
Bulguia the southern part of Macedonia, which would 
hsve Inonght Bulgaria as a wedge across the Vardar be- 
tween SeAia and Greece. What would have happened had 
Bolgarift accepted the proposition and remained neutral, 
God alone knows. Granted that the Entente Powers sin- 
oerelybdieved this arrangement to be for the best interests 
«l Seitna and Greece, it was none the less a direct aifroatj 
to Greece and an assumption of the right to dispose ofl 
Greek territoiy without ^ consent of Greece. Sndi in> 
considered moves as this played into the hands d 
Germany. Instead of winmng both Bulgaria and Greece, 
the Entente won neither. More than this, Entente dq>k>> 
mats, up to the middle of September, refused to believe 
that Bulgaria would join the Central Powers, and made no 
preparations for this contingency, or even for giving effec- 
tive aid to Serbia, although they had received full infcmna* 
tion of the Austro-German concentration on the Serbian 

Entente stupidity and double-dealing and undue optH 
mism, however, do not affect the merits of the respective 
policies of the Greek King and his Premier. They are 
dted here only to c^lain why the King was not prevented 


by public opinion from following an anti-constitxitional 
and anti-national poliqr, and the great obstacles Venizelos 
had to contend with. After Venizelos assumed once more 
the premiership, the Serbian Minister communicated to 
him a telegram from Premier Pasitch, asking the Greek 
Government's opinion of the view prevailing in Serbian 
military circles that Serbia should take advantage of Bul- 
garia's unpreparedness and invade Bulgaria before she had 
time to mobilize. When Venizelos referred this question to 
the King, Constantine told Venizelos that he had better 
advise the Serbians not to attack Bulgaria, because the 
Serbo-Greek alliance was defensive, and if the Serbians 
should be first to attack it would be a question whether 
Greece would be obliged to go to the aid of Serbia. When 
he later realized that the King had been carrying on nego- 
tiations with Germany behind his back at this very mo- 
ment, Venizelos said: 

**How can you describe the conduct of giving such an 
opinion and at the same time informing the common 
enemy that he was at liberty to fall upon our Ally — 
the Ally whom we kept in ignorance of our intentions 
when she might at least have succeeded in saving herself 
by the desperate means of an anticipatory attack upon 

So little did Venizelos dream of the treachery of the 
King, who had just accepted his return to office on the 
basis of defending Serbia against Bulgarian aggression, 


that he £^>atdied a warning to Germany, which ended as 

^We believe that the German Government has no 
interest in provoking a general Balkan outbreak, and will 
continue to desire the preservation of Greek neutrality. 
We may accordingly hope that in all circumstances, and 
even in the event of the oiganization of a Balkan cam- 
paign, she will not fail to exercise all her influence in order 
to restrain Bulgaria ftom attacking Seibia, and will thus 
insure the preservation of peace on our ^xmtiers.^ 

Although the feeling had grown upon him that Bulgaria 
was definitely in the enemy camp, Venissdos, on Sq)tember 
14, agreed with Premier Pasitdi of Serbia to make terri- 
torial concessions to Bulgaria through the Entente as the 
price of keeping Bulgaria neutral. The two Premiers 
knew that the situation was desperate and that the En- 
tente could not be coimted upon for generous military aid. 
The submarine warfare was looming up as a deadly and 
uncertain factor in estimating the reliability of transport 
of troops by sea, and Venizelos had been watching with 
extreme care the slowness in provisioning and the indecision 
in increasing the Dardanelles Expedition. The attitude of 
Italy was equivocal. Rumania gave no sign of abandon- 
ing neutrality. The first duty of the statesman was to 
avoid a test of arms under these circumstances. 

But a week later the Greek Minister at Sofia telegraphed 
that Bulgaria had decided upon the partial mobilization of 


her anny. Constantine agreed tD respond by calling to the 
colors two Greek army corps. The next morning at half- 
past nine came a second telegram from Sofia, annoimcing 
the general mobilization of Bulgaria. Venizelos telephoned 
inmiediately to Tatoi Palace, stating that he desired to 
present for the King's signature a decree ordering the gen- 
eral mobilization of the Greek army. He was not received 
until five in the afternoon. 

When Venizelos at last succeeded in seeing the King, 
and asked point-blank for the mobilization order, Con- 
stantine for the first time spoke frankly. He said: "You 
know, I don't want to help Serbia, because Germany will 
win, and I don't want to be beaten." This sentence 
siunmed up the attitude of the King from the beginning 
of the war until his blind and stubborn faith in the invinci- 
bility of Germany cost him his throne. Germany will win! 
To this illusion King Constantine sacrificed the honor and 
prestige of Greece, the interests and security of Greece, 
the aspirations of Hellas, and his own future. 

In vain Venizelos tried to convince his sovereign. He 
pointed out that an inmiediate response by Greece to the 
Bulgarian invasion of Serbia had a reasonable chance of 
success, and that even if it did not succeed, the Austro- 
Germans and Bulgarians together could not use their 
numbers against Serbia and Greece because of lack of rail- 
ways and the moimtainous character of Macedonia. He 

I dun there was no analogy between the case of 
BBlgiuin ftnd itt potwbic npctitiOQ in Giwob* Wlm w . 
nw thftt tfane Mgumtwti were withoat cffecti Vcandot 

"Your Nbjetty, hcving failed to permade yco^ I am 
•ony, but it is ny duQr, as nprcsenting at dw pnasBt 
mopmit tne lovenignty of nie poop k y to tul yon tiuic 
dus time yao have no rig^t to di&r widi me. By die 
dectioo of June 13 tbe people have a p proved nty poficy 
and nvcn me tfarir confidence: »*y^ die T .l fft inf t tp faKv 
diat die fonndatioo of my poli^ ma diat we should not 
alloir Bulgaria to cnuh SeiUa and eapand oranmdi so in 
to crush us to-momsr. H yon are detennined to set aside 
the CcMutitntioo, you must my so dearfy, abrogating iht 
Constitution and assuming full responsibility by a rc^al 

But he added that the moment was too grave to proved 
any internal discussion in Grrace over the Constitution, so 
he would resign and leave the responsibility to the King, 
"niis threat brought the reluctant consent of the King. 
Constantine was unwilling to have Venizelos quit his post 
because of disagreement over mobilization. It would be 
highly impolitic to have the news of the Bulgarian mobili- 
zation coupled in the minds of the people with the resigna- 
tion of Venizelos on the ground that the King had refused 
to respond to the challenge of Bulgaria. Venizelos left the 
palace, uncertain as to the King's next move, but with the 
order of general mobilization signed. 


Equally important, in view of subsequent events, was 
the King's consent, granted in the same interview, to ask 
Great Britain and France to send 150,000 troops to the 
Balkans, to take the place of that number stipulated in 
the military convention accompanying the Seito-Greek 
Treaty as Serbia's quota against Bulgaria. Venizelos had 
been careful to go over this ground fully with the King, so 
that there would be no niisimderstanding. He brought up 
the matter of the Serbian quota, because the General Staff 
had been opposing the contingency of intervention on the 
groimd that Serbia would be imable to fulfill her part of 
the compact, and therefore Greece was released from the 
obligation of intervening. The only reservation Constan- 
tine made was that the British and French should send 
home troops and not colonials. 

Venizelos returned post-haste to his oflSice, and tele- 
phoned the Ministers of the Entente to come to see him on 
urgent business. When they arrived, he informed them 
that Greece had decided to mobilize, and that the decree 
would be published that evening; but for his future guid- 
ance he must know if the Powers would be disposed to 
furnish the 150,000 men which, according to the Serbo- 
Greek Treaty, Serbia was obliged to contribute to the war 
with Bulgaria. The Ministers promised to commimicate 
immediately with their Governments. Hardly had the 
Ministers left when a message arrived from the palace 


countermanding the demarche. Venizelos answered that it 
had already been made, and that even if it had not, he 
would still have soimded the Powers on this matter, ** be- 
cause as responsible \Cnister it is necessary for me to 
know, in order to concert my plans, whether the Powers 
are disposed to furnish this assistance." 

On September 25 came the answer that the Powers 
would make good Serbia's quota against Bulgaria, and 
that the number stipulated would be composed entirely of 
home troops. When the answer was transmitted to him, 
the King directed Venizelos to inform the ^finisters that 
'^so long as Bulgaria does not attack Serbia and does not 
thereby create the situation that obliges us to abandon 
our neutrality, these forces must not be dispatched: for 
their arrival on Greek soil would constitute a breach of our 
neutrality, it being still possible that Bulgaria will not at- 
tack Serbia." The Ministers telegraphed this message to 
their Governments. The next day came the answer that 
the troops had already started. Venizelos told the Minis- 
ters that he would have to protest, " but after making our 
protest, we shall afford you all possible facilities for disem- 
barkation and quartering." 

When the Chamber met, on September 29, Venizelos 
explained that the Bulgarian mobilization could not be re- 
garded in any other light than as a grave menace, and for 
that reason Greece had mobilized in turn. In asking for 


the ratification of the decree and a war loan of 150,000,000 
drachmae, Venizelos said : 

"After the recent election, having again been called to 
power, I considered, in view of the great changes that had 
taken place meanwhile in the international situation, that 
we should return to our original policy of neutrality: but 
this normal situation was suddenly disturbed by the gen- 
eral mobilization in Bulgaria, to which measure Greece^ 
could make but one reply. 

"I earnestly want peace, but the Greek nation must 
oppose any attempt of any one Balkan State to acquire for 
itself a preponderant position which would put an end 
to the political and moral independence of the others." 

Venizelos went on to explain that the Bulgarian Premier 
had assured him of the peaceable intentions of Bulgaria, 
whose mobilization was only "to enable Bulgaria to main- 
tain a policy of armed neutrality." To this Venizelos had 
replied that so long as such was the significance of the 
Bulgarian mobilization, the Greek mobilization must not 
be considered as having any other object than the same 
armed neutrality. 

The appeal of Venizelos was adroit. He had empha- 
sized, not rendering help to Serbia or to the Entente, but 
the fundamental principle of Greece's Balkan policy, the 
maintenance of the balance of power in the Balkans. On 
the question of opposing "any attempt of any one Balkan 
State to acquire for itself a preponderant position which 


would pot an end to the political «nd rannd i 
of tfacotheri,*'thereinunodiTiMon<rfopiidoa. Whoths 
aiked for appmnl of the motnlisatian decree and a wmr 
loan oo the ground of maintaiiungtiie balance of p ot m ' in 
the Balkansi the Chamber, wai with Vduadoa. In tfaa 
nudn of great enthuwagn, lonner Pranter Gounarii d»* 
dared that hit gtaap extended unreaerrad aopport to tfaa 
Go'vemment'i polity. Venixdoa wai THfthmnl fai dM 
•treeta. Ihe feeling against Bulgaria wai strong cnou^ to 
cany the nalioa into war. Had the Entente Powers bea 
aUe andirilUng to do iriiat Veniadoa had indicated in Us 
dfmarche to thdr NGmsten at Athens the wed before dw 
King and his followers would never have been able to get 
the better of Venizelos, and to keep Greece neutral But 
Great Britain and France failed to take advantage of the 
c^)portunity oflFered them by Venizelos. And then they 
blamed him and his nation for what was their own fault. 
At the beginning of October the Aiutro-Gennans 
launched thdr long-heralded attack upon Serbia. Bul- 
garia was completing her mobilization and massing troops 
on the Serbian frontier. The Greek mobilization was pro* 
gressing rapidly. British and Frendi troc^s were on their 
way to Saloniki from Marseilles and were embariring cxi 
transports at Moudros. How could King Constantine 
continue to maintain that Bulgaria must be given the 
benefit of the doubt f The situation was intolerable iicw 



Venizelos. Yet he obeyed the King, and protested fonnally 
on October 2 against the proposed landing at Saloniki. 
On October 4 Russia gave Bulgaria twenty-four hours to 
expel German and Austro-Hungarian officers and break 
openly *^with the enemies of the Slav cause." 

This news and that of the arrival of the first French and 
British ships at Saloniki reached Athens when the Cham- 
ber was in session. Without exception the elder statesmen 
— former Premiers — cried out against this move of the 
Allies to involve Greece in war, without furnishing ade- 
quate military aid. Venizelos answered: 

''Some time has passed since the Entente Powers have 
made requests of Greece. To-day they ask nothing but 
this — to oflFer Serbia, Greece's ally, succor in the event 
of circumstances which would require Greece herself, 
under her alliance, to give Serbia help. Great nations may 
with impunity regard treaties as scraps of paper. For 
smaller countries such a policy would be suicidal." 

The Chamber was in an uproar. Above it all Venizelos 

"We have a treaty with Serbia. If we are honest, we 
shall leave nothing imdone to assure its fulfillment in 
letter and spirit. Only if we are rogues may we find ex- 
cuses to avoid our obligations." 

Venizelos admitted that he had asked Great Britain and 
France for 150,000 men on September 22, and had agreed 
to allow the landing at Saloniki imder formal protest on 


October 2. He was simply trying to make the best of a bad 
business after he had been let in by the French and British. 
Only after the Anglo-French force had started for Saloniki 
was Venizelos informed that it comprised 13,000 men. 
This was not at all the imderstanding. It was beyond the 
ability of Venizelos to convince Greece of the wisdcnn — 
of the possibility even — of entering the war with this 
very slight military aid. He got a vote of confidence, but 
by a narrow margin: 142 voted for the Government, 102 
against, and 13 abstained. 

The next morning the King summoned Venizelos to the 
palace. Russia had declared war on Bulgaria. The Anglo- 
French expedition, under command of General Sarrail and 
Sir Bryan Mahon, was at Saloniki. Constantine told 
Venizelos that he intended to inform the world that the 
Anglo-French landing would be a case of force majeurey 
comparable to Germany's invasion of Belgium. When 
Venizelos made a final plea for the solution of the problem 
of neutrality by abandoning neutrality, which was Greece's 
duty and which Greece would have to do in the end, 
the King answered that the General Staff advised unani- 
mously against "this madness." He reminded Venizelos 
that the negotiations with the Entente had been on the 
basis of furnishing Serbia's quota according to the definite 
terms of the military convention. Thirteen thousand men 
was a drop in the bucket, declared the King, which made 


the proposed landing a trick to involve Greece without 
risking anything or assuming any obligations. There was 
nothing for Venizelos to do but resign. The resignation 
was promptly accepted. Former Premier Zaunis agreed to 
head a new Cabinet. Venizelos was only a few hours out 
of ofHce when the French and British began to land at 

The violation of Greek neutrality did not pass without 
protest in the British Parliament, and Lord Lansdowne 
e]q)lained for the Government that it was "at the instance 
of Venizelos that we undertook to provide forces to enable 
Greece to fulfill her treaty obligations to Serbia." A simi- 
lar defense was made in the French Chamber of Deputies, 
where bitter opposition to the expedition developed, on 
the groimd not of morality, but of military wisdom. But all 
the explanations of Lansdowne and others contained even 
less than half the truth. To make it appear that the 
Greeks had changed their minds and that Venizelos, after 
having taken the initiative, was unable to hold his coxmtry 
to its side of the bargain, the French and British press de- 
natured the truth. Venizelos was put in a bad hole. He 
was unable to defend himself. His lips were sealed and 
have remained sealed. As on numerous other occasions, 
before and since, the great Cretan has had to refrain from 
speaking out and to wait for history to vindicate him and 
his country as well. 

S90 VENI2EL06 

Lord Lantdonrne ncrifioed ^m npatxtSoa U Vdusdoi^ 
tibe duirtrtfr of t)ie GredEi^ and ha awn tnidifaliie«^ 
iriien be t(M Pariument dutt it wm "at the wm^iht of 
Venizdoi diat we undertcok to provide forces to enable 
Greece to fiilfill ber tica^ obligaticnu to Serina." Veniae- 
loahad ttn^^ •ouoded the Entente Powen to find ont 
whether, in case Bulgaria attadced Serbia, they^ wonld be 
dlqxited to famish Scii»a*s quota — x^i^ooo tioops — m 
order to make the Setbo-Gred l>ea^ operative. Uns 
was qmte a ^fierent matter from undertaking ** to pnmde 
forces to enable Greece to fulfill ho* treaty obligations to 
Serbia." Hie demarche — a purely tentative one, as Vcni- 
zelos had clearly e^qilained to the Entente Ministers — 
was acted upon inunediately and used as an excu&e for (Hs- 
embarking a woefully inadequate force at Saloniki — less 
than one tenth the number of troops asked for by Veni- 
zelos, and asked for, not on behalf of Greece, but on behalf 
of Serbia, to enable Serbia to fulfill her treaty obligations! 
Honesty demanded a frank answer to the demarche of 
Venizelos. Hie Entente Powers were disloyal to thdr 
friend Venizelos when they interpreted this demarche as an 
invitation to send 13,000 troops to Saloniki. For obvious 
reasons Venizelos has never been able to point this out. 
Entente statesmen and the Ministers of the Powers at 
Athens conspired to put Venizelos in an impossible situa- 
tion, knowing that he could not defend himself, and trust- 


ing that he would somehow extricate himself and lead 
Greece into the war in time to pull their chestnuts out of 
the fire. They overshot the mark. What could Venizelos 
respond when the King and the General Staff pointed out 
the discrepancy between 150,000 and 13,000? The at- 
tempt to save Serbia was doomed to failure before it 
began. ^ 

Venizelos still had a majority in the Chamber. But it 
was dwindling. The failure of the Entente Powers to 
furnish the Serbian equivalent for joint action against 
Bulgaria, or to promise that the 150,000 men stipulated in 
the treaty would be forthcoming immediately, made him 
too weak to force an issue with his successor. On Oc- 
tober 10 Premier Zaimis informed the Chamber that the 
policy of the Government would be armed neutrality, 
conditioned on events as they occurred. Zaimis believed 
that the people were behind his Cabinet. He may have 
been wrong at the moment, but there is no doubt that 
public opinion in Greece changed sensibly with the sweep- 
ing •\dctories of the Bulgarians and Central Powers, and 
the revelation of the impotence of the Entente to help 
Serbia and to make progress at Gallipoli. 

^ The ridiculous insufficiency of the Saloniki Expedition, from a mil- 
itaiy point of view, was exposed from the very beginning by British and 
French critics, whose opinion was the same as that of King Constantine 
and the Greek General Staff. Most pronounced of the critics was Georges 
Qemenceau, editor of the Paris daily, U Homme Enchtini^ who afterwards 
became Premier of France. 


Venizelos, while not piDVoking a tett of votes, main- 
tamed his policy, and from the OppoutkMi benches oaw 
tinned to call for a dqwrture from nentralitjr. But he 
shifted his ground, and emphauzed the ultericx- interest ai 
Greecetogototheudof Seifoia. His speech of October lo 
is cxie of the noblest of his career. Answering ZiJasui^ he 

''Even if diere existed no treaty with Serbia, oor intep- 
est would oblige us to enter the war, because another State 
wishes to aggrandizs itsdf at cur espeose. . . . We ongjit 
not to allow Bulgaria to crush Serbia in order that she may 
then attadc us with all her forces. The naticmal soul says 
it is to the interest of Greece that Bulgaria be defeated. 
For if Bulgaria should triumph, Hellenism would be ocsn- 
pletely vanquished." 

He denied that Geimany had still a chance to win the 
war. With their greater resources, "as time goes on, 
reason points to the conclusion that Great Britain and her 
Allies must win." Neutrality was an immense service to 
Germany, and if the new Cabinet persisted in maintaining 
neutrality and thereby helped Germany to win the war, 
they should anticipate their belief in Germany's victoiy 
by securing a promise from Germany of territorial ag- 
grandizement after ascertaining what territory had been 
promised to Bulgaria. Tliey should also secure a guarantee 
of integrity for ten years at least after the war. 

Venizelos ended with a warning: 


"Take care, gentlemen, take care of that Greater Greece 
which I have handed over to you. Take care that you do 
not hand over to your successors a smaller Greece. Gentle- 
men, I have finished. I feel that I have done my duty.*' 

On October 12, in reply to an official conununication 
from Serbia, contending that the entry of Bulgaria into 
the war made a casus fcederisy and asking if the Greek 
army was ready to enter into action against Bulgaria, 
Greece formally refused to acknowledge that the treaty 
obligation existed. The note argued that the alliance of 
191 1 was limited to preserving the equilibrium among the 
Balkan States, and that its purely Balkan character made 
it inapplicable in case of a general European conflagration. 
The situation that arose was not covered, because the 
treaty contemplated only "isolated attacks by Bulgaria 
against either Greece or Serbia.** This answer was fol- 
lowed by an exhaustive communication from Premier 
Zaunis to Great Britain, presenting an interpretation of 
the Greco-Serbian Treaty unfavorable to intervention. 

The controversy over the obligation of Greece to Ser- 
bia after Bulgarian intervention became a cause celehrey 
and was hotly debated in the European press as well 
as throughout Greece. As the treaty had never been 
published, however, the discussion was mostly surmise. 
Nearly two years later, when Venizelos came back to 
Athens from Saloniki, and this question arose once more 

•54 VENIZEL06 

tliat in 1915 they had knoim nothing about tlut tzcaty 
obBgatioo, and, not haring the text imder their eyea, iRTC 
nnabk to ibnn an independent Ofnnioo. Veniaeloa aud 
one dung: Ziwnia laid another. Both were men nHboae 
hooesty and rinoerity were nnqneatkned. King Ocxt- 
ftantine and moat ol the elder atatemen ol Greece denied 
diat the treaty provided diat if ehber State waa •***f^f^ 
by Bulgaria, the other State would huten to ita aniit- 
anoe. Prince Nicholaa in a letter to Lord Bamham d»* 
dared that he had taken part in the negotiationa of die 
treaty, and that it certainly contained no radi blanket 
provision. Venizeloe answered in the press that the ob- 
ligation did exist and that Prince Nicholas had had 
nothing to do with framing the treaty. 

In justice to the Greek people, the fact of this un(xr- 
tainty and confusion should be emphasized, llie Greeks 
had a right to resent the imputation of the Entente Pow- 
ers, both in official communications and in their news- 
papers, that the Greek nation had failed to observe the 
treaty. Venizelos could speak his mind. He knew what 
was in the treaty. But the Entente press did not know, 
and the asstmiption on the part of uninformed statesmen 
and publidsts that the Greeks were acting dishonorably 
was unwarranted. 

King Constantine cannot be accused at this critical 


moment of willfully misinterpreting the treaty. If he did 
misinterpret it, the responsibility rests upon counselors 
among whom are niunbered some of the most reputable 
men in Greece. But he is guilty of a lack of straightfor- 
wardness, wluch can be eiq^lained only by sympathy with 
Germany and belief in Germany's invincibility, when he 
failed to inform the Serbian Government before Bulgaria 
had declared war that Greece would refuse to consider 
Bulgarian intervention a casus foederis. And his action can 
be called by no other name than complicity, since it has 
been established that Constantine assured the Central 
Empires and Bulgaria that Greece was not bound to go to 
the aid of Serbia and would remain neutral so long as her 
own frontiers were respected. 

But was the attitude of King Constantine more dis- 
honest than that of the Entente Powers? It was well 
known in Greece, and was a cause of deep resentment, that 
the Entente Powers had been negotiating with Bulgaria 
on the basis of violating the Greco-Serbian Treaty. If one 
article of the treaty provided for intervention by one of 
the contracting parties when the other was attacked by 
Bulgaria, another article stipulated that neither party 
should cede territory to Bulgaria without the consent of 
the other. And yet Entente pressure was being brought 
upon Serbia to consent secretiy to territorial cessions in 
favor of Bulgaria. In addition, the Entente Ministers at 


Sofia c^ei^ Bulgaria a portioii of Gredk Maoedo^ 
price of Bulgarian neuixaKty^ and at die same time toid 
Seri>ia tiiat she could have compensation at tiie eqienseof 
Greece for what Seri>ia was asked to cede to Bulgaria. 
The eqpuvocal dipk)macy of tiie Entmte for montiu before 
the Sakmild landing made it very difficuk for VenbsdoSt 
and diminished his influence even with followers who had 
the deq>est a£Fection for him. 

If the Allies had been militarily successful, their pc^ti^ 
knavery mig^t have been forgiven. But the military &il- 
ore of their Balkan policy was as signal as the diplomatic 
failure. Despite the undignified and tortuous n^otiatioos 
at Sofia, which took no account of Greek interests or 
Greek sentiment, Bulgaria rejected the offers of the En- 
tente. The last-minute effort tx> go tx> the aid of Serbia 
with ridiculously inadequate forces ended in the hasty 
retreat of the inter-Allied expeditionary corps to the 
Saloniki base. For what was due to their own impotence, 
the Entente tried to blame Greece. Venizelos was chaiged 
with having overestimated his ability to bring Greece 
into the war. Cbnstantine was charged with plotting 
against the Entente. 

French and British public opinion did not take into 
consideration factors in the situation that worked against 
Venizelos and for Cbnstantine and that justified the Greeks 
in changing their attitude towards the Entente. When 


the May elections were held, the military prospects of the 
Allies were bright. Their propaganda had confidently pro- 
claimed the debacle of Germany on the western front in 
the second summer, the success of, Italy against Austria, 
of Russia against Germany and Austria, of the Gallipoli 
eiq>edition against the Turks. These hopes were blasted 
one after the other. The Germans held the French and 
British and the Austrians held the Italians. Russia, in a 
vast and disastrous retreat from Poland, had been put 
virtually out of the running. Gallipoli was an ignominious 
failure. Neither by pressure on other fronts nor by direct 
aid from Saloniki had the Entente been able to prevent 
the crushing of Serbia. The Sofia negotiations demon- 
strated that the Entente had been willing to sacrifice 
Greece to win Bulgaria. 

Admiration for Venizelos ought not to lead us into the 
error of glorifying the statesman at the expense of his 
pec^le. It is a reflection upon the character of the Greek 
nation to draw a picture of the events of 191 5 and 1916 as 
if this were a period of conflict between the King and 
Venizelos during which the Greeks were victims of German 
corruption and guilty of moral turpitude. Any such easy 
generalization would make the leadership of Venizelos 
from 1910 to 1915 and since 1917 ineiq^licable. The Greeks 
were not cowards, dismayed at the thought of a new war. 
They were not shirkers, unwilling to fulfill their obliga- 



lioot. They had no thought of playing one side off agai 
ifae odier mtil dicy could be MIC lliat ihey were autfat 
In their lot with tiwvicton. nmeii 
flMuiy' iriio lune written to pndie Vcniado^ are n 
Veniados needi and wanti no ffory at die price of bo> 
mitdung lui ldk]«^«oanti7niett. Even during tbe moM 
ti^ng period d. die Salodki Pronriooal G uniuiimaa ^ 
vriu the treadwiy cf the Coon cabal aeemed evident* 
Veniaeloi had nofear cf the Gredci stabUng the Afiiea i> 
die back DidhenotoppoeediepbnQf dwAffieatogo 
into .Iheiaaty and offer to go Unudf? He kneir hov 
Gieek would meet Gmk. HGs confidence in hia fdloa^ 
countrymen never wavered. If it had wavered, would be 
have triumphed in the end? Did any man ever make a 
silk purse out of a 80W*s ear? 

The truth of the matter is that the Greeks were coii- 
fused. They were puzzled. They were irritated. TTiey 
were misinformed. The Entente statesmen fuled to come 
out definitely for Venizelos and against Constantine. They 
did not trust Venizebs's estimate of his own people. 
Tliey did not assure to Greece the military backing that 
would have compelled Constantine to show his hand. 
Strong opposition to the Sabniki expedition developed in 
London and Paris. The Allies paraded their military im- 
potence and thrir lade of harmony and coofdinatifm be- 
fore the eyes ctf the Greeks. When the inude history ci 


the SalonikI story is published, we shall realize how the 
actions of the Allies themselves kept furnishing fresh 
arguments against the interventionist poliqr of Venizelos. 

A smaller man, a lesser patriot, than Venizelos would 
have directed those who kept soliciting his influence, and 
yet worked against that influence, to the regions ruled 
over by an ancient god of his race. But the reasons for 
joining the Entente remained as strong as ever. The 
greatest of modem Hellenes thought only of Hellas and 
the interests of Hellas. Venizelos knew that the victory of 
Germany would mean the hegemony of Bulgaria in the 
Balkans and the stamping-out of Hellenism in Thrace, 
Constantinople, and Asia Minor. This was no hypothesis. 
The Turks were already at work. Venizelos did not need 
to draw upon his imagination to picture the holocaust of 
massacre and eiq^ulsion that swept over Asia Minor in the 
sununer and autumn of 191 5. He was a Cretan, brought 
up under the shadow of the crescent. If Greeks of the 
kingdom did not share the keen sense of the danger to 
Hellenism from a German victory with Ottoman Greeks 
who remained steadfast in their loyalty to Venizelos 
through the dark days, they were more to be pitied than 
blamed. Venizelos was willing to wait until the shadow 

In an official conmumication to the Athens evening 
newspapers on October 21, the Zaunis Cabinet stated the 


opimon of the Greek Government in regard to the treaty \ 
obligatioa of Greece tcmud Serbia. Hie note taid that 
the inteipreutioa of the alfianoe with Seibia waa not in 
the pnmnce of the Entente Pcmat, becanae (%eeoe waa 
an independent natioa dispodng of her &te in foil ■ o wr - 
agoxy. The Aastro^Serman attack rdeased Greeoe firam 
the obligation of armed interventioii, unce tiie tcca^ waa 
c(»icdved cmly as a docnmoit to pnnride agutut a re- 
newed attenqit of Bulgaria to mn the hcge unj i i y of the 
Balkans. Even if it were aiigiied that the tiea^ became 
operative after the interventioa of Bsdgaria,. tt omit be 
remembered that Gredc aid to Sertna agunst Bulgaria 
was contingent upon Serbia putting 150,000 men imme- 
diately in the field against Bulgaria. The Entente Powers 
had failed to furnish an equivalent contingent. The Gen- 
eral Staff thought that unless there were 400,000 men for 
the Balkan joint expedition, Greece would be ruined with- 
out saving Serbia. Greece would aid Serbia best by allow- 
ing the Allies to pass through her territory, maintaining all 
the while her own mobilization. 

This communication admitted, what had already be- 
come public in the House of Commons debate of Octo- 
ber 14* that Greece had been offered Cyprus by Great 
Britain on conc^don that she enter the war, and bad de- 
clined the offer. Premier Zaimis said that Greece thanked 
Great Britain, but could not consider abandoning her 


neutrality, which, however, was of the most benevolent 
character towards the Entente. 

Venizelos kept his majority under control, and allowed 
the Zaunis Cabinet to transact normal business. It was his 
desire that the Chamber finish its business and adjourn. 
Constitutionally, then, new selections would not have to 
be held uintil the simuner of 1916. This would give Greece 
time to judge the merits of the controversy between the 
King and Venizelos by the results of the nine or ten 
months of unchecked Crown authority. A crisis arose, 
however, on November 4, when the Minister of War, 
General Giannakitsas, insulted deputies of various parties 
in a discussion over extra pay due army officers during 
the period of mobilization. The deputies insisted that 
Giannakitsas apologize. Zaimis, who considered this an 
excellent opportunity to get out of a position that was 
becoming irksome, without seeming to desert the premier- 
ship, took the part of the Minister of War and asked for 
a vote of confidence. Venizelos on behalf of the Liberal 
Party offered to support the Zaunis Cabinet if Giannakit- 
sas alone resigned, or simply to withdraw from participa- 
tion during the remaining fortnight of the session and 
allow the bills still before the Chamber thus to be passed 
prior to automatic adjournment after business was com- 
pleted. But Zaunis refused. 

The debate that ensued lasted all night. A Government 

afis VENIZEL06 

depatf asked VemaeloB id^dier he dioa^ die King 
wiihed the ooantrT** destructioo. Venizdoi met die ime 
Mpuudy. He dq>k)nd dng^ng the King'ii name hno a 
ponly political discnsaoo, and denied that his oppos hi oa 
to the King meant impoting mqMtriotic modvet to Qxh 
rtantine, vrbo was "a dirtingnished general, bnt not 
eqoalfy eq)erienoed m things pcditicaL'* Ihen m three 
hdti sentences he set forth his (Hsagieement with the 
King: ' 

"Our state is a democracy prended ever hy the Kii^ 
and the vdiole reqxmrilHlitjr in the Govemmeat rests widi 
the Cabinet, which depends vpoa the majcxity of the 
elected representatives of the pec^le. In a constitutional 
government, the Crown has no ^re in responsibilities. 
If foolish political leaders admit that in this Chamber 
there can be such a thing as a Crown policy, they are un- 
worthy to represent a free and sovereign people." 

Premier Zaimis was refused the confidence of the 
Chamber by 33 voices. The vote stood: for the Govern- 
ment, 114; against, 147; abstaining, 3. Venizelos pro- 
tested against dissolving the Chamber and ordering a new 
general election. He said that the Liberal Party would 
consider dissolution and a new election illegal, and warned 
the advisers of the King that his followers would back VKp 
this opinion by refusing to participate in the election. 

King Constantine decided that the time had come to 
break openly with Venizelos and the Liberal Party, which 


had been returned by so definite a majority in the last 
general election. As a first step to show his contempt of 
the Chamber^ he sent for the discarded NCnister of War 
and made him his aide-de<amp. The next day he dis- 
solved the Chamber, and asked Stephanos Skouloudis to 
form a Cabinet. This was the beginning of a series of 
appointments to the premiership without taking into ac* 
coxmt the political standing of the appointee before the 
Chamber and the country. From November 6, 1915, 
until his forced abdication, Constantine I ruled Greece 
unconstitutionally. For the will of the people he sub- 
stituted divine guidance. 

On November 9 the new Premier informed France of 
Greece's "neutrality with the character of sincerest benev- 
olence towards the Entente Powers.'' But acts soon be- 
lied words. The mad enterprise of flying to the aid of 
Serbia too late and with insufficient forces was meeting 
with disaster. Foreseeing the necessity of falling back on 
Saloniki, on November 12 the British, French, and Russian 
Ministers demanded that Greece define the attitude she 
would observe in event of the Allied forces seeking refuge 
in Greek territory if there should be a reverse in Serbian 
Macedonia. They insisted that no distinction be made 
between the Anglo-French army and the Serbian army. 
Skouloudis answered that Greece would be compelled to 
disarm the Serbians because of the obligation of neutrality. 


and hmted that the British and Fteodi really oq^t to be 
disanned alao^ bat that their eventual retreat into Gredc 
Ma cedo nia would be again a case of fwce wugeun for 
Greece, as the original landing had been. 

On November 21 Veninloi issued a prodamation ask- 
ing his folbvrers to relnun from voting in the gene^ 
tion, on the ground that the cBssohxtion of the Cliamber 
had been ill^ial and the dqmties elected on June 13 stiU 
constituted the lawful l^slative assembly of <3reece. The 
returns of the election, held on December 19^ showed that 
the majority of tiie Gredk electorate had obeyed Vedh 
asebs. In June 750^000 votes had been cast InDecember 
the polls recorded a scant 200^000. The liberal Party 
never regarded the new Chamber as constitutional, and 
Venlzelos and his friends took no part in its ptxxreedings 
during the long months that followed before the open 

A disaster more complete even than had been antici- 
pated met the Allies in Serbia. The littie country was 
completely overrun. The Entente forces retreated to 
Macedonia and entrenched themselves in the Saloniki 
base. Driven across Albania to the sea, the Serbians 
would have been annihilated had not France and Great 
Britain, violating once more Greek neutrality, transported 
the remnants of the Serbian army to Corfu. 

After recuperation at Corfu, the problem arose of send- 

«, 4i^%a 


ing the rehabilitated Serbian army, which numbered about 
120,000, to Saloniki. It seemed impossible to find the 
vessels necessary for the long sea voyage aroxmd Greece. 
Transport by sea in submarine-infested waters was also a 
risky operation. The Entente informed Greece that the 
Serbians would have to go to Saloniki by way of Patras 
and Attica. The German Minister at Athens promptly 
warned Greece that this would be considered a breach of 
neutrality. Premier Skouloudis protested. The Entente 
answered that Greece must not only consent to the trans- 
fer of Serbian troops by land, but would be required to 
furnish troop trains and a right-of-way on the railroad. 
The Entente justified overriding the protest of Skouloudis 
on the ground that: (i) the Skouloudis Cabinet did not 
have official standing on the basis of the Greek Constitu- 
tion, and did not represent the will of the Greek nation; 
(2) the Treaty which created the Kingdom of Greece pro- 
vided for the intervention by the guaranteeing Powers 
when, in their judgment, it became necessary; and (3) the 
failure to keep the treaty pledge to Serbia made it morally 
incumbent upon Greece to do all in her power to repair 
the consequent damage to Serbian interests. 

This was the thesis now adopted in all the relations of 
the Entente with Greece. The article, creating the King- 
dom of Greece, in the Treaty of Adrianople, September 14, 
1829, was due to the agreement reached between Russia, 

fltf VENI2ELQ6 

wiuuef i& ine wu* intn ^ufuyfy lod tnc two Ooodcstil 
Rmcn vut had lotemoed to pvevcnt Gneoe zran beiBg 
cradled by her Ottoman niMten. By the Con v a aii on el 
London, M17 7, 183a, the independent Kingdom of Greece 
was pot onder the protection cf Great ftntun, France^ 
Down to the forced ab^ea t ion cf Comtamine and the re- 
anvcnittg of the Qmrober of June 13, 1915, voder the 
prenden^ of the diimiised Premier, in the rammer cf 
1917, the Entente Pmren baaed evay act in thdr rdatiom 
irith Greece upon their privileged pontioo as gnarantois 
of the ConstitutioQ, which King Constantine's Govern- 
ment was violating. 

Few Greeks went the length of defending all the ar- 
bitrary measures of the Entente Powers. TTiere were some 
that were indefensible on any ground whatever. Even 
where ardent Venizelists realized the necessity for them, 
they were none the less resented. King Constantine may 
have been at fault: and he was surrounded by incompe- 
tents, syoc^hants, and downright rascals. But down in the 
bottom of his heart every Greek believed that the En- 
tente diplomacy went too far, and that at Saloniki General 
Sarrail was unduly nervous and abused the hospitality 
and ignored the sovereign rights of Greece. Constant pin- 
pricks prevented the return of Venizelos to power through 
a revulsion of public opinion. 


Greek irritation over the high-handed abuses of sea 
power by the Entente did much to maintain sympathy for 
the neutralist policy of King Constantine. There seemed 
to be no limit to the arrpgance and stupidity of British 
naval officers in the Mediterranean. Although illegal, 
many blockade measures could be justified by Notxven- 
digkeitj and tolerated by neutrals friendly to the Entente. 
But frequently the abuses of sea power were unreasonable 
and unnecessary. Americans who had experience with the 
working-out of Orders-in-Council, which were contrary to 
international law, remember how difficult it waiB for the 
most enthusiastic supporters of the Entente to brook the 
many insolent acts of illegality committed by the British 
fleet in the Atiantic before our entry into the war. TTiere 
was much truth in the chai^ges, made by Prince Nicholas 
in a letter to a London newspaper,^ of lack of tact in 
handling Greek commerce and of unjust accusations 
against Greece. 

Prince Nicholas pointed out that although, since the be- 
ginning of the Dardanelles campaign, the Germans had 
been able to aid Turkey through Bulgaria, no coercive 
measures of importance had been taken against Bulgaria. 
But Greek merchantmen were subjected to such a rigor- 
ous control that the liberty of the seas in the iEgean had 
become an empty phrase. TTiere was prolonged detention 

1 See London DaUy Telegraphy April 7» 1916. 


• .« 

<^IM • f V^^iVvVCt t (i 

268 VEtilZEUOS 

at Mbudioe or Malta. The tame vesid was tmbjected Id 
more than one virit. Days were feat at Qbrahar mad 
again at Malta. Objects were oonfiscai 
ent justification, and Great Britain ^pplkd to Cntk sUpt 
measures agunst whidi she had protested to the point of 
tibreatening Rusna with war ten years earlier. Pribace 
Nicholas dted the instance of the detention at 
after taking it hours out of its course, of a shq> tranqpor^ 
ing General MosdiopouloSy commanding officer d die 
Sakmiki army corps, with all his staff. Maritime cqoh 
municatkins were so paralyzed that Greece was repeated 
on the verge of starvatkm, ^aldioug^ no facts justifying 
such measures have ever been established." If the accusa- 
tion against the Greeks of maintaining bases for German 
submarines were well founded, why had none claimed the 
British Legation's prize of two thousand pounds? Surely 
there were plenty of poor Greek sailors and fishermen 
who would have detected such bases had they existed. 
Near Nauplla marines had landed from Allied ships, 
with no warning to local authorities, and destroyed the 
petroleum dfpot of the Government, placed there for 
the agricultural station of Tlryns. Had they stopped to 
inquire or even had they examined the contents of the 
tanks, they would have discovered that the liquid inside 
was denatured and could be used only for the destruction 
of locusts. 


The letter of Prince Nicholas was not German propa- 
ganda, and I have found that its facts are correct. A dozen 
Greeks, all of them sympathizers with the Entente, have 
told me that Entente interference with their business and 
correspondence and movements was so unnecessarily stu- 
pid that they did not blame their felbw-countrymen for 
being unwilling to enter the war on the side of nations who 
were showing themselves unfriendly and unjust to Greece, 
and whose actions exemplified the detestable Prussianism 
they were inviting the Greeks to aid them in destroying. 
This point needs to be emphasized. Little things have big 
results. They may not have known it, but French and 
British officials, especially naval officers, who acted like 
typical Prussians, abusing their power, were unconscious 
agents of the German propaganda in Greece. They are re^ 
sponsible for the size of the cemeteries in Saloniki. 

Many Greeks felt also that Entente naval power was 
being used in the Mediterranean for the furtherance of 
sordid conmiercial interests, even at critical moments. In- 
formation of a purely commercial nature that came to the 
British and French authorities through the control of mails 
and telegraphs was commumcated to rivals of Greek firms 
in the same lines, and ships were detained to allow French 
and British goods to get to certain markets ahead of Greek 
goods in order to take the top prices. Greeks, ardent 
friends of Venizelos, have told me these things. They also 


charged that certain Allied officers were open to bribes, 
and would give no permits until their palms were well 

St uie tiiD^ I duoBTCnd toat Enttnte €Ot io l of 4b tw 

Hh Britidi LvokxA iflcU c 
BO pcnintt to mtrCnttPtiiH Of to ti 
Bend Gneoe ihjDoia mnui nmtxiL lilaRsinti Ihu^ 
cone oat flttHiodlBd far the A]fiet or be dBprimd cf fMft- 
ties at Mt, inopective o< intmnttiaBiil Inr aod liHi HigM 
C ou f quiu M. Hie Britiih Legatioa «w wpMB^ m 
(^%ece depended iqxm imports. Even within the didcLof 
professed Entente sympathizers, it was claimed by many 
(although I have no proof of this) that the autlK)ritie8 at 
the British Legation considered only Venizclists as friends 
of the Entente. Hioee applying for permits had to be 
vouched for by the Liberal Party organizatiosi. Since 
many who were disposed to accept the reasoning of Ven>- 
zelos and to support Greek interventicm did not want to 
adhere to the Liberal Party for reasons independent of for- 
eign policy, this fact may cqilain the undoubtedly large 
backing King Constantine recaved for his abstention pol- 
icy from influential Greeks who were in no sense pro- 
Throughout this bitter struggle Venizelos refused to 


countenance a republican movement. He wanted no civil 
war in Greece. He stated that he was no more anti-dynas- 
tic than at the time of the conflict with Prince George in 
Crete or when he first came to Athens in 1910. Overthrow- 
ing the monarchy might have been the easiest remedy for 
the intolerable position in which Venizelos found himself. 
But he was averse to the idea of a republic, because he be- 
lieved that a constitutional monarchy was the best form of 
government for Greece during the period of the unification 
of the Hellenic race. Two other reasons made Venizelos 
feel that it was necessary to persist to the end, even risking 
failure, in the effort to win over the King to his point of 
view. To ask the people to choose between him and Con- 
stantine, making it a question of personalities, was exceed- 
ingly distasteful to Venizelos. For it would mean the re- 
public, despite his opposition to that form of government 
in the period of evolurion. And then Venizelos had no illu- 
sions about the attitude of the Greek people towards their 
sovereign. If it was true that many Greeks were pro-En- 
tente without being pro-Venizelos, it was equally true that 
among those who supported the policies of Venizelos were 
ardent admirers of the sovereign. Hiis was well explained 
in retrospect by Minister Gennadius, at the Mansion 
House reception in London several years later. On Jime 
27, 1918, Gennadius said: 

^^Let me tell you frankly that ex-King Constantine was 


originally beloved of his people. He was the first Greek 
Prince born to us — as promised and hoped and prayed 
for by fifteen generations of Greeks. He was given a name 
that brought back memories of glory. No event was more 
touching than the christening, among representatives from 
Greek lands and communities the world over, of this 
Greek-bom Orthodox Prince. Great things were expecbsd 
of him; and none denies that he gallantly led our men to 
victory during the two Balkan Wars.*' 

A revolution at this stage, although urged by friends in 
whose loyalty and judgment he had confidence, did not ap- 
peal to the man whose heart was filled with apprehensbn 
for the Greater Greece he had created. He knew that pub- 
lic opinion was confused, and that the main issue was not 
as clear to others as to himself. He was too shrewd to un- 
derestimate the popularity of the King and the unpopu- 
larity of the Entente. A revolution would mean civil war, 
and probably New Greece against Old Greece. With the 
army mobilized, such an idea was abhorrent. Venizelos 
pointed out, to those who dared to upbraid him for keeping 
in the background when Greece was going to roin, that as 
long as Bulgaria did not invade Greece the risk of a revolu- 
tion would be greater than the gain. If the mobilized army 
split and started a civil war, would not this embolden Bul- 
garia and tempt her even more than the very suspect neu- 
trality of Constantine? And had the Venizelists the right 
to assume that Constantine would carry his love of Ger- 


many or fear of her prowess or faith in her military star 
far enough to refuse to fight even if Bulgaria invaded 
Macedonia? If Venizelos made a mistake, it was in refus- 
ing to believe in the infamy of his sovereign until the proofs 
were too clear to deny. 

In May, 1916, the Skouloudis Government yielded to 
German pressure and shamelessly ordered the surrender of 
Fort Roupel, an important frontier post, to the Bulgarians 
without firing a shot. Hiis raised a tremendous furore in 
Greece. In the Chamber, on June 6, Premier Skouloudis 
denied connivance, but the Entente Powers demanded his 
dismissal and the formation of a business government. 
Zaimis again consented to become Premier on the promise 
that a plan was to be worked out for the intervention of 
Greece on the side of the Entente, should Bulgaria, who 
was threatening to drive the Allies out of Saloniki, invade 
Greek territory. But the Entente demands included also 
partial demobilization, control of the police, and new 
elections. Was an opportunity coming again to Venizelos 
to save his country without openly rebelling against the 

The surrender of Fort Roupel had made him restive. 
That was a matter of honor. But he looked in another di- 
rection and saw a threat to Greece that few of his compa- 
triots realized. Hie Italians had landed at Valona, and 
were extending their occupation into the interior through 


Mofdieni Epiras, compelling the Greek anny to give up 

wtt preaou ttfintocy fcr inwit ipoonyowtioii i Gimoc 

put of GnscU Imdenla «u domr to Um An ^pinfc 
Tbe Entente had aSkmed the Greeta to oecapy ilih iiw 
try in 191$. BataoiryeterFbrtnai|id»«tatiiatdMn 
to ny to die Italian aismieat Aat ife GMcfc anor w 
BO loBger to be trotted iridi the pontiim ot iBBportaM. 

t^wttf^tf fcwrtiiiw^ win— <n«<fw— »■ mytt afr »^f iMwtii^ 

go die way of Roi9elf 

1; Venitoloe plasDsd to oootett die elediaBs. Bnttkeisk 

VB woootaM CTOwiM py tlicBu%<niatoBitrtyed1i>ehBp> 

of a peaceful return to power throu^ the ballot. There 
remained now the laat-^ninute converuon of the King to a 
national policy — or revohiticHi. 



THE Bulgarian invasion of Macectonia violated a 
promise King Constantine had openly declared was 
made by Bulgaria and the Central Empires jointly when 
the former entered the war. It aroused the Greek people. 
On August 26^ 1916, the Bulgarians occupied Drama and 
Seres, and took possession of the heights around Kavalla. 
Against the natural instincts of the Greek race, the Gen- 
eral Staff ordered the army to withdraw, abandoning what 
had been won in the Balkan Wars. This was a serious blow 
to the prestige of King Constantine. Coupled with the 
shameful sequel of the invasion, — the surrender of Kavalla 
by Colonel Hadjopoulos and the internment of a consider- 
able portion of the garrison in Germany, the seizure of 
Greek war material by the Bulgarians, the oppression of 
Greeks in occupied territory, — King Constantine would 
have been forced to join the Entente had elementary skill 
been used in handling the Greek people. But the French 
and British continued to make blunder after blunder, of- 
fending needlessly the suscepribilities of the Greeks. TTiey 
saved King Constantine over and over again from the con- 
sequences of his pro-German policy by arousing the re- 


•entmcnt of the Greeks. The French and British played ' 
litai cuds badly. lUs nude nuidi more MtRmit ^hui it 
needed to have been the talk of Venhdot, and engendacd 
iotenial itrife in Greece^ dw oil cffccta of iriiidi have not 
been Eradicated in die hour of victiorjr. 

On the day fE^lotring die ocai p a ti ao of Dnom and 
Seres and the inrcstment of KaralU came the aem of tte 
intervention of Romania. Ibis event precollated die oAr 
as diat had long been brewing bet wee u VduB^its and 
Coostantinitts. It luqjpeaed on the annivenazy of As 
Revdodoo of 1909^ whidi the Liberal Fftrty had preptied 
to oeldirate by a man meeting in ftont of the hoose of 
Venizelos. Forty thousand gathered in the streets to listen 
to the speech Venizelos delivered, as was his custom, from 
a balcony. The great Cretan had prepared beforehand a 
resolution to be adopted by the meeting and to be pre* 
sented to the King. Hiis he read. It was carried by acda- 
maUcm. It was the last public warning to King Constan- 
tine. Said Venizelos: 

"You are the prey of advisers of a purely military out- 
look and of oligarchical ideas, who have persuaded you 
that Germany must be victorious, and who, trading upm 
your admiration of the Germans whose victory you be- 
lieve in and have desired, hope by Germany's victory to 
be able to set aside the liberal Consritution of Greece and 
to concentrate in the Royal hands the power of absolutism. 
As a result of these warped ideas, instead of an eztennon 


of the territory of Greece to Asia Minor, TTirace, and 
Cyprus, we see to-<lay Macedonia invaded by the Bul- 
garians, military supplies worth hundreds of thousands 
of drachmae surrendered to the invaders, and northern 
Epirus in danger of being permanently lost. 

"We, the people, by this demonstration declare that we 
disapprove the course recently followed, and insist upon 
the dismissal from the entourage of the King of his present 
sinister advisers. Hie interjection of the King's name into 
the electoral contest constitutes an internal revolution 
against the Liberal Party. Hie national unity has been 
destroyed by thrusting the Royal prestige into politics.'* 

It was the common belief that the intervention of Ru- 
mania had taken away the last pretext of the pro-German 
General Staff to object to Greek intervention on military 
groimds. Venizelos bluntly told Premier Zaimis that the 
resolution of the mass meeting was a definite warning, and 
that he could no longer remain a passive spectator to the 
dishonor of his country and to the betrayal of the interests 
of Greece. He authorized Zaimis to inform the King that 
if the policy of neutrality was persisted in even under the 
new situation created by Rumanian intervention, Veni- 
zelos would not hesitate to divide the country by asking to 
follow him the provinces which were ready to make the 
sacrifices necessary to combat the pro-German policy of 
the King. 

During the first few weeks of Rumania's belligerency, 
King G>nstantine played for time. He did offer to enter 

Vim not pnfWKwwMft Jwt tlw find dBcWoD w hmqps 


the tgiWioii of hm Vcrawits .HnQfi^ bocmc tiis Ei^ 
twite iTiiwropBtwWBdBioPMidiiigGwBfcpndfc AtQUM* 
no OK wmlups i^ipcKnd st tts nncBS vtifiBftuoBtt !§ 
«nd>terietc<in rimi(fatfn giueM U iiwbcgiiiiihidirMcted 
IwiiMt d» VniwnHiti Urn cme die s^id and «mk- 
pccted couQMB 01 Kmnnuft to bdp oic Kns mdl UM 
Genenl Staff, b^ef ia lAcMe adliteiyngicfaykad bam 
nuenbjr tne ennti ot Aigoit* 

VoooMos wilted fcr a tnootii bcfere tapiig tiiB ncvcm* 
i)le stq> of dividing Greece. But the King, whik assuring 
every one that he intended to bring Greece into tibe war, 
did not make good his promises. Premier Zaunis resigned, 
unwilling to assume the re^nnsibility of the dilatory tac- 
tics of the King, and equally unwilling to stand for die 
underiiand and lawless methods employed by die British 
and French Legations to force the King into die war. 

One cannot defend Anglo-Frendi intrigues at Adieni, 
and it is an open question how much die Venizelists were 
mixed up in them and were employing quesdonable medi- 
ods to coerce the King and the Cabinet. But it may have 
been a case of fighting fire with fire. At any latev llie King 
could have ended it all by asking Venizelos to head a War 
Cabinet. This would have been the proof of his nnceri^ 


and of the assertion, so frequently made to exculpate him, 
that he had at heart the best interests of his country. 
Propaganda literature abounds concerning this period, 
and both sides bring out facts to the discredit of the other 
side. The impartial student, however, concludes that if 
the King was really a patriot, he was a mistaken one. He 
may have wanted to keep his country out of the war from 
patriotic motives. He believed that Germany was going to 
win. Venizelos believed the Entente was going to win. In 
the final analysis tlus was the issue. 

Venizelos was not as eager to embark upon a revolution- 
ary venture as in earlier days. He was not as young as he 
had been, and he had lost the mentality of a revolutionary . 
In the okl days in Crete it was easy for the young lawyer 
to pack his gun and take to the mountains. Age and ex- 
perience had not yet devel(^)ed in him the habit of weigh- 
ing the consequences. Venizelos later confessed that in 
1916, when he debated with himself whether he should 
make good his threat to the King through Zaunis of divid- 
ing Greece, he dwelt more than he had in earlier years upon 
the danger of revolutions degenerating into anarchy, and 
that he was not sure of the extent of the poisonous effect of 
the German propaganda in Greece. 

The instinct of the former Prenuer of Greece was to re- 
main within the law. A man who had been in the position 
of Venizelos since 1910 could not easily convince himself 


Alt it WM lui duQr to bmk dom tfas pnicAed ocMMfi-' 
txn of tiui^s in ofder to cvBStt A neir ooiiditiflii) cfCB n D^ 
ditt meuu he m^it inooeed m nvmg lui coontqr fioDB 
mm. Wu the shnatioa Rtrievalifef Whit Vrnhrlni, far 
the lalce of imeniatioiial oonaty, hill never adbrntted, I Ma 
mre he feh, dut the itiqndity and the ignanmoe cf oonfr 
tiont of Entente iteteanen, and the am ijMUhy cf FrbA 
iuid Brituh officUb to the Gredca, mis^ mdfify iriuitevcr 
cfibrt he nuule, ctid he dupote hhnsdf totakethfl gnat lU: 
of openly de^nng the King. Moreover, Veniados ^ aat 
tnut Itafy, and he ooold not be nn Aat Itafiaa hiottSqr 
iRnld not prove hit undoing. 

But cme 6a.y a leading shipowner of Athens, his itttimate 
friend Embeirikos, reported to him a oonvenation widi 
his baifoer. Hie barber had said: "Mr. Embeirilcos, you 
know I am a tremendous Venlzelist, but we plun men are 
saying that, besides the King, Venizelos has a great re- 

When Embeirikos asked where lay the responsibility of 
Venizelos, who was protesting and shouting and wearing 
himself out, the baiber replied: "But Venizelos tdls us 
that we are heading for disaster. Well, then, if we are 
heading for disaster, why should n*t we prevent all this?** 

"And idiy don't you look about you," said Embeirikoe, 
"and prevent it?" 

"How can we?'* answered the baiber. "As knig as 


Venizelos is alive and well, we can't do such a thing. Be- 
cause every one thinks that when Venizelos, who sees 
things better than we do, sits quiet, it means that nothing 
can be done. But if it was n't for Venizelos, the rest of us, 
the people, might be tempted to try to see if we could save 
the country from disaster." 

The opinion of a simple barber made Venizelos ashamed 
of his hesitation and started him to thinking. He decided 
that what the barber said was right, and that his desire to 
keep within the law might be due to purely selfish mo- 
tives. Up to now he had succeeded in every task to which 
he had put his hand. Had success atrophied him? Was he 
so jealous of his laurels that fear to risk them led him now 
to betray the cause of Hellenism? 
. Venizelos went with his problem to Admiral Koundouri- 
otis. He explained his doubts and the conflict of motives, 
and put the question of openly breaking with the King to 
the Admiral. What was his duty in the matter? Koim- 
douriotis not only urged Venizelos to revolt, but said that 
he woiild share in the enterprise. As a member of the last 
two Cabinets, the Admiral spoke with authority and 
knowledge when he affirmed positively to Venizelos that 
Greece was being betrayed and that the guiding policy of 
the King was friendship for and assistance to Germany, 
regardless of the interests of his coimtry. 
On September 26, 1916, Venizelos and Koundouriotis 

. i 

icR Adeqi. 

Tlie next day they landed in Crete and pro- 1 
1 a revolution. From Crete they went to Saloniki, J 
i Agr set up a Provisional Government. Crete, the j 
I Mbnds, and Macedonia broke with Athens, and I 
nffied to the revolution. It was New Greece against Old 
Qntot, llie regions freed from the Turks in the Balkan 
muB cttR in their lot with the man who had been their lib- 
r. Bcrsonal attachment to Venizelos was not the sole 
s dlAt prompted New Greece to follow him. The j 
iLry movement was popular because it was dn | 
Vected gainst Bulgaria and Turkey, the recent oppressors^ 
who were feared as certain to become the masters again J 
should Germany be ^ctorious. Did not the sole hope for 
the security of New Greece rest in the triumph of the Eih 
tente? TofoUowVenizeloswutoobey the instinct of self- 

Venizelos had no intention of entering upon a dvil war. 
He counted upon the eventual overthrow of King CcHt- 
stantine and an awakening of national spirit in Old Greece 
that would lead to the fusion <A the Saloniki and Athens 
Governments. I£s proclamation stated that the Provi- 
sional Government had no anti-dynastic tendency, and 
that he and all his followers were willing to st^ypcut the 
Crown the moment King Constantine abandmed his mt- 
oonstituticmal anti<4iatioiial policy. To prevent the poan- 
bili^ of a conflict between Greeks, Venizelos agreed to the 


creation of a neutral zone, to be occupied by Allied troops, 
between New Greece and Old Greece. 

The correspondent of the Associated Press at Athens, 
who had come under the spell of King Constantine, gives a 
curious picture of this period in a book which is an apology 
for the Royalist policy. Writes Mr. Paxton Hibben: 

^^The departure of Venizelos changed nothing in King 
Constantine's purpose to join the Allies; but it altered 
materially the attitude of the Allies toward Greece. They 
had never really wished to work with the King of the 
Hellenes, because Constantine I was devoted heart and 
soul to the interests of his own country, not to the interests 
of the Entente. Venizelos, on the other hand, was liter- 
ally their man, wholly amenable to the desires of Great 
Britain and France." ^ 

This judgment of Venizelos shows how ignorant Mr. 
Hibben is of the history of the man upon whom he passes 
judgment. If Venizelos in 1916 was influenced by the mo- 
tives imputed to him by Mr. Hibben (who simply voices 
the accusations of the political enemies of Venizelos), he 
was acting in a manner that denied his whole past life. 
The judgment of history upon Venizelos and Constandne 
will take into account the background, the aspirations, the 
work for Greece of the two men before 1916 and since 1916. 
Mr. liibben unfortunately attempts to interpret the revo- 
hitionary movement, as well as the war policy of Venizelos 

' See Constantim I and tke Greek People^ by Paxton Hibben, p. 347* 


ia 19x4 and 1915, widiaat iqipredatiiig irimt Hrilrniwi 
incinti In oommoii with wmby ipiiijeit on Avto^ he hw 
mtstakea fer the Greek **&dKrieiid** the Httle Kiasdom 
of Greece, created bf tie Pnfen alter the War of U»- 
peodeooe, and hat not noderstood that the ipiritof Hdlaa 
and the cooDtpOon of Hcnii Rpmentedt nnn oia vcty 
beginiung cf the Inrth of natiaaafinn in Ennp^ aomelhiag 
fir ^£Ferait and hir more comprrfienawc dun die ^''F^r^ 
of the anaU Idngdom wtdiin iriiich onljr ODe ioaorth of Ae 
Gre^ raoe lived wbea VtuSatkm a p pe ar ed on the aoene tt 

Accor£ng to Mr. Hibben's own di ip a tcfaea to die AiM> 
dated Press, Venizelos said to him on September 2(^ when 
asked if he planned to go to Saloniki and thus split Greece, 
that this depended upon whether the King heard the voice 
tA the people. To the American a^nespcmdent the former 
Premier very frankly expressed his fear that the Serbians 
might after the war retain a part of Greek MacedtMua. 
He subjected, too, the intention on the part of the Allies 
to retain Saloniki permanently. Tliis was hardly the 
pn^rer opinion for *'the man of the Allies** to express for 
publication in newspapers! In fact, Venizelos counted Ut- 
tle upon the aid of the Allies and trusted less thdr diplo- 
matic combinasioTu. If he had said all that was on his 
mind to Mr. Hibben, he would have spoken dl his great 
anxiety over the intrigues cA the Italians in Albania, who 


were planning to take advantage of the anomalous situa* 
tion in Greece to install themselves in Northern Epirus. 

During the winter at Saloniki Venizelos created an 
army of sixty thousand men, fully equipped, officered, and 
trained. In April the Provisional Government had three 
cHvisions on war footing, and was ready to join the Allies 
on the Macedonian front. The improvisation of this army 
is the greatest achievement of the career of Venizelos. He 
had nothing to start with, and received little financial sup- 
port or moral encouragement from the Powers he was risk- 
ing everything to aid. The Saloniki army was the result of 
his enthusiasm, of his faith in the high destiny of Greece, 
of his organizing ability, and above all of his drawing 
power as a master of men. The King of Greece had be- 
trayed the cause of Hellenism. The Kingdom of Greece 
had for the moment proved an uncertain and even un« 
worthy foimdation upon which to build Greater Greece. 
As in the autumn of 19 10, the hopes of Hellas rested in a 
single man. He was the foimdation. He was the authority. 
He was the embodiment of the cause. 

It was at the call of Venizelos and to put their lives in 
the hands of Venizelos that volunteers flocked to Saloniki 
and that the flower of the officers of the Greek army 
burned the bridges behind them and came to offer Veni- 
zelos their swords. It was for Venizelos that Greeks who 
lived outside the radius of the authority of King Constan- 


ii nimcnt emptied their coffers to provide tbe^ 
Saloniki < ^veniment with funds. It was for Venizelos i 
that the Greek shipowners, eluding both the Genxum sub- 
marines and the unreasonable requisitions and hindrances | 
of the Entente authorities, brought clothing and muni- J 
tions and food to Saloniki. 

The history of the World War affords no other example I 
comparable to this of faith in one man. Venizelos was a 
rebel against constituted authority. He was neither prop- 
erly recognized nor~adequateIy supported by the Powers 
on whose side he was attempting to array the Greeks. 
And the victory of these Powers was by no means certain. 
Hiey had fuled to break througji the German lines after 
four months <A costly effort on the Scmune, and were im- 
mobilized on every other front. In the Balkans eQ>eda]l3r 
the Entente star was growing dimmer and dimmer. Seibia 
was conquered and occupied. Shcnrtly after Venizelos ar- 
rived at Saloniki the intervention of Rumania proved to be 
a calamity, and the Coostantiiusts could pcnnt to the fate 
of the Balkan country that dared to ally itself with the 
enemies of invincible Germany. Right under the veiy 
eyes of the Greeks at Saloniki the military impotence of 
the Entente Powers had been demcmstrated for more than 
a year. ^Csfortunes were accumulating for those (^ whose 
victory Venizelos was sure. In addition to this there was 
little love lost between the Greeks and the men of the AI- 


Ged armies. Venizelos had to appeal to his followers with 
the sole ai:gument of confidence in his judgment and to 
hold them with the sole magnet of his personality. 

While the volunteer army was growing Venizelos con- 
stantly visited the soldiers in their camps. Instead of pass- 
ing the troops in review, with pomp and circumstance, he 
had a habit of asking the soldiers to form a circle around 
him, and his visit took the character of a family gathering. 
He had time to speak to the soldiers individually, asking 
about their homes and families, and if they had any com- 
plaints to make. The gathering ended in a speech, of 
course (they would not have been Greeks if there had been 
no speech), but it began with questions such as: ^^ Where 
db you come from?" "Your father and mother are liv- 
ing?" "How many children have you?'* "Do you like the 
shoes you are wearing?" "Is your food good?" "Have 
you warm clothing and blankets?" 

In the midst of dark days and discouragement the Pro- 
visional Government gradually established a civilian ad- 
ministration in what was left of Macedonia and in the 
Islands, and buih up the new army company by company, ' 
re^ment by regiment, brigade by brigade, imtil the three 
divisions of Seres, Crete, and the Islands were ready for 
service at the end of March, 1917. When General Sarrail, 
generalissimo of the Entente armies in Macedonia, re- 
ceived an invitation from Venizelos to review the new 


Greci BXaiy, the Frenchman, who felt he had every reason 
to diitnitt die Greeks, exclaimed, '* It is a juggler's trick ! " 

Venaeloi^ who on hts side had received scant encourage- 
■ ment bom General Sarrail, answered that seeing the army 
' ftam a irrietving stand was not all. He took General Sar- 
fail oa an mtpection trip to the Greek camps. Everything 
waa in perfect order, hospital corps, transportation corps, 
qnartermaater corps. The Greeks were ready to go to the 
front widl ambulance service, lines of communication, and 
an independent commissary functioning from the base. 

Vauadoa disclaimed any merit for himself in this 
rtnpendout tmdertaking other than having had faith in 
the justice of the Allied cause and in the final triumph of 
the Entente arms. In talking to me at the time and since 
of the months of miracles at Sabniki, he was modest 
about his organizing ability, about the magnetism of his 
personality, about the long nights at his desk that fcd- 
lowed long days talking to pec^le. He brashed all this 
aside with a wave of the hand. But he did boast of lus 
optimism, and he told me that he knew from personal ex- 
perience that faith could remove mounudns. 

Tlie old adage of God helping those who help them- 
selves was never absent from the mind of Venizelos. It 
had been the secret of his constructive thinking and acting 
in Crete and in Old Greece. It was no new thing for him 
tt> be disappointed over the apathy and lack of enthusiasm 


and blindness of vision of the statesmen of the Powers. 
That was an old story. Others might wait for support^ or 
at least promises of it, before getting to work. Venizelos 
is like every other man who makes a success of life. In 
each task to which he put his hand, he was accustomed to 
go straight ahead \mtil what he was actually accomplish- 
ing attracted the attention of those whose cooperation he 

* There was not a ghost of a chance of success for his 
Saloniki venture unless he could raise by his own efforts 
an army of Greeks subject to his orders. Had he gone to 
Rome and Paris and London to convince Entente states- 
men of the necessity of recogniadng the Saloniki Govem- 
ment as the lawful government of Greece, he would have 
lost out with the Greeks as well a$ with the Allies. He 
was incapable of committing this error. Instead of lobby- 
ing and scolding and pleading, he busied himself with 
making the Provisional Government efficient and building 
up his army. When he was undisputed master of New 
Greece and an army of sixty thousand men, the Allies 
themselves decided that the time had come to expel 

• From the rupture between Venizelos and Constantine 
to the abdication of the King, Old Greece passed through 
eight months of tragedy and hmniliation. The King on 
one side, and the French and British on the other, kept 


exchanging mutual assurances of good will and good fatth. 
King Constantine declared that he was ready to intervene 
in the war. But he did not. The French and British J 
isters at Athena declared their friendliness for the Greeki^l 
and their desire to work out a modus vivendi by whidi] 
Greece would be able to pass from neutrality to belligi 
ency. But their distrust of King Constantine and his s 
visers was so strong that they were led from one measu 
to another, from one ultimatum to another, until it wai 
realized that only by the abdication of the King and i 
return of Venizclo* to Athens could the situation 
cleared up. 

General Sarrail^ unnerved by the Bulguian (tensive <A 
the summer of 1916, which he believed was with the ocxh 
nivance of Athens, impressed upon Paris and Ixmdon that 
the offensive ha was planmng for the spring of 1917 risked 
failure through the possibility d the Royalist Greek army 
falling upon his rear. He charged the Athens Government 
with being party to a widespread system of eqnonage and 
aid to submarines. There is no doubt that he was sincere 
in his belief that every move 'm his camp was repented to 
Athens and thence immediately communicated to the 
Germans. As the submarine menace was very serious, the 
collapse of Rumania a heavy and uneq)ected bk»r to 
Entente hc^>es, and the attitude of Russia uncertain be- 
fore as well as after the Petrograd revolution, it can readily 


be ima^ned how upset the French and British Govern- 
ments were over the alarming reports that came from 
Athens and Saloniki. For reasons that have never been 
fully explained, but which were probably due to consider- 
ations affecting Italy and Russia, Great Britain and 
France could not make up their minds to take sides openly 
with Venizelos and put an end to the intolerable situation at 
Athens. They contented themselves with half-measures. 
In every step they went too far because they did not go 
far enough. 

It is impossible to go into the long and involved story of 
the successive Allied ultimatums and encroachments upon 
the sovereignty and neutrality of Greece. The texts of the 
ultimatums, the answers of the Athens Government, the 
incidents provoked by the acts of the Allies, would make a 
book in themselves. Shortly after the Provisional Govern- 
ment was established at Salomki, the Allies demanded 
of the Athens Government the surrender of a quantity of 
mimitions, the use of certain railways, the expulsion of 
pro-German agents, and limitations of the movements of 
the Greek army in Old Greece. When the Athens Govern- 
ment refused these. Admiral Dartige du Foumet, who had 
already offended Greek pride by seizing the Greek navy, 
foolishly attempted to enforce the Allied demands by 
landing a force of three thousand men and marching on 


' Hk Royafiits ndcted. Several hundred Allied marines j^ 
woe Aot dfcma in the ttneti of AAam, nA tlie FnaA 
Adbdnlhadtowhfadnnr. The Alfied fonet iPoaU fan* 
been •""^■nt»it had not King Coontantio^ under tl« 
tiiRst ol A boadNudnient by* llie AlBed flee^ oratred hHM 
tobeesoortedbadctotlieparL Tins oodifeal^ fernAidh 
die AdminlwM fblljr u iwp n niMft u Ae Kaigi ikh 
WT'*"I*«n*H hr die MMnaurtian of ptftnam of Voi* 
■doeandfoPoiwdhy t3ieirfioiet«le p aiie tuli oB«nd im* 
prisoament of Venia^sti in Old Greeoe. Jim Ttmik 
tapeaaSf were piflamed bjr what dicy called ibe mw> 
Moe of their tiDopB, and d mee T u mcfPeceiaberlnndl^ 
I9i6,led toa blockade of Greece and to; another ultima- 
tum, demanding the withdrawal of ail Greek traces from 
Tliessaly. King Constantine was infonned that his army 
must be demobilized or retire to the Peloponnesus, where 
it would be virtually under surveillance. 

On December 31, 1916, Great Britain and France, with 
the omsent of Russia, addressed a note to the Greek Gov- 
ernment demanding the immediate liberaticHi of Ven^ 
zelists arrested, the indemnification of victims who, after 
inquiry, were recognized as having suffered damage un- 
justly as a result of the events of December i and 2, and 
full reparaUon for the massacres. The Greek Government 
accepted. A commission was formed with full power to 
detennine its own procedure and to summon witnesses. 


and it was agreed that the decisions of the commission 
would be accepted without appeal as binding upon the 
Greek Government. As with other promises, King Con- 
stantine never fulfilled this one. The commission was 
named by the French and British, but was unable to start 
its hearing. Not until the deposition of King Constantine 
and the return of Venizelos to Athens was the conunission 
in a position to begin its sittings. It had jurisdiction over 
claims of Greeks as well as foreigners. But reparation due 
foreign ofiicials and the military and naval forces so 
roughly handled at Athens on December i and 2 was not 
included. Their claims were to be presented through 
diplomatic channels.^ 

^ The report of the Mixed Commission of Indemnities, presented to 
Minister of Foreign Affairs Politis on December 27, 1918, was published 
by the Greek Government. It states that from September, 191 7, to De- 
cember, 1918, the Conunission held 437 meetings and made 6018 decisions. 
Thousands of exaggerated and unscrupulous claims, which would have 
entailed the payment of over 100,000,000 drachmae, were thrown out. All 
statements were checked by inquiries made on the spot by experts. The 
total indemnities amounted to nearly 7,000,000 drachmae. Of the claims 
allowed, 35 were for murders; 922 for imprisonments; 418 for severe ill 
treatment; 503 for pillage; 66 for damage to real estate; 31 for suspensions 
of newspapers, mostly followed by the destruction of printing-presses; 
and 900 for expulsions or flights caused by the menaces of reservists. 

The report gives details of shocking outrages, and shows **the deplor- 
able internal condition to which the German influence had brought Greece 
. . . neither the property nor the liberty, nor even the lives of the citizens 
were respected." In some places the reservist committees acted like 
Soviets. Greece would have been ruined and broken up *'had not the 
Greek people, more fortunate than the Empire of the Czars, found a 
saviour in the person of Venizelos. The Government established by him 
at Saloniki represented not only the national aspirations of Greece, but also 


After the events of December l and 2 the character of 
the revolution changed. The assassination and imprison- 
ment of the leaders of the Liberal Party and many of the 
rank and file of Venizelists, who had not gone to Saloniki, 
made Venizelos and his friends feel that King Cbnstantine 
had become simply a party leader. Up to this time they 
had been prepared to tolerate the continuation of the 
King upon the throne and to postprone the settlement of 
internal questions in Greece until after the war. When he 
was fully informed of the misfortunes of his followers in 
Old Greece, Venizelos privately notiBed the Allied Govern- 
ments that "every bond between us and King Constantinc 
has been severed, and it is Impoesible for us any kmger to 
recognize him as King of the Hellenes, now that he has 
fallen from the leadership of the State to the leadership of 
a party, and has joined the other authorities in rising in 
disorder to crush and annihiUte the opposing party.*' 

Venizelos now foimd the hierarchy arrayed against him 
once more at a critical mcnnent of his career. We remember 
that the Archbishop of Crete, siding with Prince Gec»ge 
against the aspiradons of the Cretan people, had excom- 
municated Venizelos. This medizval folly weakened the 
Archbishop's prestige. In modem times, when ign<H«nce ' 
and superstirion have largely disappeared, an ecclesiastical 

the truly conititutionil regime ind the priodpiet of order and jottioe upon 
which all civilized tociety repoaet." 


organization has no authority and influence unless its de- 
crees and acts are in accordance with what public opinion 
believes to be right. 

The Holy Synod of Greece formally appealed to the 
ecclesiastical authorities in Allied countries against the 
oicouragement given by the Allies to ^'a small political 
group which takes advantage of a foreign military occupa- 
tion to terrorize the State, and which, not hesitating be- 
fore recruitment by force, has imprisoned and ei^Ued 
priests and prelates who have remained faithful to their 
duty/' If a list of the molested priests and prelates had 
been appended, it would have revealed that there were 
more prelates than priests. The high dignitaries of the 
Orthodox Church, dependent upon the Court for advance- 
ment and already enjoying a favored position, were hostile 
to the revolution. The considerations that aroused Veni- 
zelos to action after he had heard the barber's criticism of 
his course did not arise in the minds of bishops and arch- 
bishops. The Metropolitan of Crete, the Archbishops of 
Agathangelos, Drama, and Cbsani, and the Bishops of 
Grevena, Photios, Syra, and Paronaxia tried to restrain 
the people from joining Venizelos. Naturally they were 
arrested and put out of harm's way. There was no other 
course open to Venizelos. But if, as the Holy Synod 
charged, Venizelos was leader of '^a small political group" 
and was attempting to ^'terrorize the State" and did not 


^>iiir^ii> II 

^g6 ' VEtfSnSUOS' 

1IHh& uIw OOGKIIIk CK Tvimi'TT rT T u# owlDDUCI 900 ul«KlOlru» 

of die ivonderliil amqr diat made tlie AOim iMfiaoe liitt 
VcoiaBelos retQjr ooiild oooe iddk itMnofitB Ub comtijr? 

to die Uiiked StmtM^idio^ fike Ut code^^ 

^llie dioke b betivem Gieeoe M Greece^ widi ov 
d^p^ oor flb^^ aiid die Greek iiitioiiAl ^)i^ 
^vidoal Gtvdkik reoraaeiidiift no reelhr Mtimf I titi ffiio tf » L. 
under VeniBdoi et io mndi a intJ^ ^ 

^^Greek natbnal spirit.'' The dei^gy probably fdt as 
Sdilieman did, although they had not the excuse of being, 
like Constantine and Schlieman, Greeks of very recent 
vintage. They had confused the interests of the Crown 
with the interests of Greece. Devotion to Greece meant 
to them devotion to a sovereign. As they had no visions 
of Hellas, it was natural that men like Sdilieman should 
think of Venizelos as ^'representing no really national 

When we consider what happened to Greece between 
191 1 and 1916 and what has happened to Greece since 
1917, it is pathetic to think of the venerable Archbishop of 
Athens mounting a caim of stones in the center of a vast 

} See Hibben, op. cir., p. 346. 


multitude^ and pronouncing the anathema of the Qiurch 
of Greece upon "the traitor, Venizelos," and all his fol- 
lowers. On that Christmas Day of 1916 it was reported 
that sixty thousand Athenians came to the excommuni- 
cation ceremony, each bringing a stone to cast according 
to the ancient custom. They were the ignorant and the 
unthinking. When Venizelos returned six months later 
they went out to throw flowers in his path. Were they 
different from the masses in any country? The blockade 
had caused them to throw the stones. The thought that 
Venizelos was bringing food prompted them to strew the 

Off in Saloniki Venizelos took his Christmas commimion 
at the hands of the priests who paid no attention to the 
anathema. Most priests did not. They lived too near the 
people, and in Macedonia they knew that God could not 
really be angry with the man who had liberated them from 
the yoke of the infidel and through whose efforts and by rea- 
son of whose faith the church in which the mass was cele- 
brated had been repurified after Mohammedan desecration. 

Venizelos did not worry about the fulminations of the 
hierarchy and the seeming disapproval of his old Athenian 
admirers. For it would be in the future as it had been in 
the past — per aspera ad astra. Few might stay with him 
in the rough places, but when he reached the stars again, 
all the world would be his friend. 


When the persecutions of the Venlzelists in Old Greece 
had become unbearable, Venizeloa felt that he was in 
honor bound to go to thdr assistance. Admiral Koundou- 
riotes and PoUtis (who had left the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs at Athena to join the Saloniki Government in 
October, on the eve of the persecutions) agreed with 
Venizeloa that it would not be precipitating civil war, 
but fulfilling a moral obligation, to intervene against the 
martyrdom of persecution of the Liberal Party in Old 
Greece- TTie Provisional Govenunent had another motive 
in desiring to put an end as soon as possible to the lack of 
national unity. Part of Macedonia was occupied by the 
Bulgarians. The inhabitants of the Islands were not all 
available for military service, as many were Indispensable 
for the navy and merchant marine. The Saloniki army 
could grow to prc^rtions important enough to make 
Greece a vital factor in the approaching Macedonian of- 
fensive only if Old Greece could be wrested from the 
authority of the King and opened up as a field of re- 
cruitment. Had not the time come to make a test of arms 
with King Constantine? 

Venizelos therefore asked the Powers to suspend, if 
possible, the neutral zone and to allow the Provisional 
Government to come to a trial ai strength with the State 
organization in Old Greece, so as to bring the division of 
the country to an end and to restore the national unity 



in time to enable Greece to be a militiiy factor in the vic- 
tory of the Entente Powers. As an alternative Venizelos 
demanded the right to occupy Thessaly in order not to 
leave the crops of Thessaly to the Athens Government. 

The Powers refused both requests. They moved them- 
selves, however, into Thessaly^ and they began to realize 
that they coxild not leave Venizelos indefinitely in an 
anomalous position at Saloniki. What he had been able 
to accomplish with the volxmteers opened to them the 
tempting prospective of a Greek army four or five times 
as large and imbued with the same splendid fighting spirit, 
if only Venizelos had a free hand. 

In Jxme France and Great Britain dedded to invoke 
their obligation as "protecting Powers,'' who had prom- 
ised to guarantee a constitutional form of government for 
Greece at the time the Kingdom was created, to demand 
the abdication of King Cbnstantine. Jonnart, formerly 
Governor-General of Algeria, was sent to Greece with full 
powers. On Jime 1 1 Jonnart, acting in the name of France 
and Great Britain, notified King Cbnstantine that his per* 
sistent violations of the Greek Constitution made it neces- 
sary for the protecting Powers to demand his immediate 
abdication and departure from Greece and the designation 
of a successor to the throne. It was intimated that the 
Crown Prince was unacceptable to the protecting Powers. 
To back up the demand French troops were landed at 


Inor of lut tft ooi rf toil Akactnder* On die lolkiwiitt dsr. 

inth hit wife aad eldest ioi^ CoQS^^ 

Fieadi steamer, m foirfr to vint his bcollieMii-lmr« 




THE straggle between Venizelos and King Cbnstantine, 
the decision to become once more a revolutionary, 
the excommunication by the Archbishop of Athens sec- 
onded by the Aldbiadean anathema of the Athenians, 
the forced abdication of the King, the return of Venizelos 
to Athens after weary months of building up an army at 
Saloniki, his success in healing dissension and reestablish- 
ing economic prosperity in a coxmtry su£Fering from the 
blockade and the crippling of its shipping — all while the 
outcome of the war was imcertain — is one of the most 
fascinating chapters of the World War. What Venizelos 
accomplished may not have been a decisive factor in the 
war, but it has oiabled Venizelos to become the final 
authority in shaping the peace terms of the Near East. 
It was the ei^rience in Crete over again, on a larger scale, 
with a grander setting. And Venizelos was the same man, 
playing for the same stake. 

Venizelos was not consulted in regard to the abdication 
of Constantine. The move was made wholly upon the re- 
sponsibility of the British and French Governments. But 
£Ggh Cbnunissioner Jonnart knew that Venizelos believed 


that this step was the only possible means of saving Greece 
from civil war of a nature that might jeopardize the hopes 
of an Allied offensive from Salonlki. TTiere seemed no 
other way cut of the dilemma. The forced abdication was 
the lesser of two evils. Venizelos could not enter into any 
agreement beforehand with Jonnart. This would have in- 
volved him in (Acuities later with an important element 
in Greece that sympathized with him and at the same 
dme was loath to accept the necessity of the armed inter- 
vention of the Entente Powers. It would have been dan- 
gerous for Venizelos to lay himself open to the accusa- 
tion of being returned to jxjwer by Allied bayonets. 
Many Venizelists resented the bkx^ade. The Greeks ve 
a proud people. Belief In the wisdom of the policy of 
Venizelos did not destroy thdr fonatical devotion to their 
sovereign and their memory <A his leadership in the wars 
against IHirkey and Bulgaria. 

It had been Intimated to Jonnart that the success ci his 
drastic move and the cooperation of VenizeloB depended 
upon the willingness of Constantine's second son, Alex- 
ander, to succeed to the throne. Constantine might have 
embarrassed Jonnart and made delicate and difficult the 
return of Venizelos had he refused to allow Alexander to 
'succeed him. Tliere is no doubt }>ut that the son would 
have followed the father into exile. 

Constantine, however, agreed to leave Alexander cm 


tKe throne. Peiliaps he felt that this was the only way 
to keep a hold on Greece^ and that the future would be less 
a»npromised for himself and his dynasty by abdicating in 
favor of Alexander and yielding gracefully to force majeure 
than by playing what might have proved a trump card. 
But in justice to the deposed monarch it may also be ad- 
vanced that Constantine put the interest of his country 
above his personal ambition. The Allies were in control of 
the situation. Nothing good could be hoped for Greece by 
resistance to their will. By withdrawing as he did, he 
helped Venizelos and the Allies. But at the same time he 
would be able afterwards to claim that he had sacrificed 
himself in order to give his people food and in order to 
prevent the country from falling into chaos. 

Because he realized how precious an advantage at this 
critical moment was the maintenance of the AynBSXYy 
Jonnart tolerated the proclamation of the new King, who 
spoke with a£Fection of his father and whose statement 
that he was obeying his father's injimction was scarcely 
more than a veiled insult to the Allies and their trium- 
phant High Cbmmissioner. 

Premier Zaimis remained in office after the abdication 
of Cbnstantine at the request of King Alexander, who 
wrote to Zaimis that he was ''the faithful guardian of the 
Cbnstitution/' and made it clear that he was willing to 
comply with all the demands of the Entente. Venizelos 

)04 \'ENIZELOS- Tl 

ianneAttely declared that he had no quarrel with the 
BBV Guvei'iJniBii^ sna DCttlie FkonBonu GorcnBBDBMt 
at Saltadld iraiit out cl oiiteaoe MiUwii i aH f, He a*- 
w nww tnittiiC fniiigr oiiowMBigB i p n ia rt BBliie wi tt Wh CB 

B>e PiDviMODil Gowrniiwjit mcI dmm cwted wnpy <t > 
pntot tgiiiwt Ik Tiohtion of tiw Cwirotiitinn) k am 
no longer % tuisoii maf$» Vemnos ntnniBd to *"***** on 
Jme %% snd cntwrd mto negotistioiii with Zi ai at, 

Joonirt inwrted apon die c u u vo a ui on cl the duabar 
dected OQ Mqr 51, 1915, m iriudt VouBdoe liad a ni^|Qi>> 
1^. He oMod hit "—****" i^Kxi ate grooods imKokea lot 
the abdication of Constantine. Tlie Powers that stood as 
guarantors of Greece were bound to see that the Cmsd- 
tution was observed. Since the dissolution of the May 
Chamber had been illegal, its legislative functions and 
mandates still held good. Zaimis refused to accept this 
interpretation, and resigned. 

On Jime 27 King Alexander asked Venizelos to form a 
Cabinet. He accepted the premiership, reserved to him- 
self the portfolio of war, and appointed his tried friend 
Politis Mnister of Foreign Affiurs. Two days later Greece 
formally entered the war. The King signed a decree con- 
voking the Venizelist Chamber of 1915. In token of thetr 
confidence in the new Govemmoit, the Allies gradually 
withdrew their administrative ccmtrol of Government 


services^ retaining only the censorship of the telegraph and 
cable in cooperation with the Greek Government. 

Venizelos was asked to make only one promise, to bring 
to justice those responsible for the December, 1916, assault 
upon the Allies, and to indemnify the Allied victims, the 
Greek Government acting in conjunction with an Allied 
commission. This was as much a measure of protection 
for Venizelos as a satisfaction to the French. Venizelos 
knew that his success depended upon getting the upper 
hand of his enemies, whose nxunber and organization he 
did not xmderestimate. But he wanted to do it without 
incurring the charge of seeking personal vengeance. The 
work of the commission, the direction of which he was 
assured would be in his hands, was a splendid cover. 

By returning to Athens Venizelos risked assassination. 
Even if he were able to guard against that, he had the 
implacable hostility of the Royalists to contend with. But 
his position at Saloniki was no longer tenable. He thought 
that it was better to be in the midst of things and win 
back the people by personal contact than to allow the 
Royalists to form new plots and to keep the minds of the 
people unsettled. It was too much to hope, also, that the 
Entente, at this late date, would cea^ their military and 
political blxmders. He coxild protect himself from his 
friends only by appearing in Athens without delay, accept- 
ing the premiership at the risk of seeming to be backed 




lers, and using his personal influence with the 

aich and British and with the Chamber. He felt that 

:re was no time to be lost in moimting guard over Alex- 
ander, who was not to be trusted. 

On the face of things a new general election seemed pref- 
erable to reconvoking the old Venizelist Chamber, which 
might be construed as a confession of weakness and lack of 
popular support. But Venizelos had no illusions ooucem- 
ing the mischief-making power of his enemies. Even if 
the Constantinists were cowed and did not contest the 
election, he knew the Greek people well enough to realize 
that the swing of the pendulum would raise the dynastic 
question. Tbii Venizelos wanted to avoid at all costs. 

During the month of July Venizelos worked tirelessly to 
repair the misfortunes of the past two years. His first 
objectives were to gain administrative control of all of 
Greece, merging the Saloniki administration into that of 
Athens without provoking armed resistance, and to amal- 
gamate and harmonize his Saloniki volunteers with the 
regular army. Alternately, he had to act as intimidator 
and conciliator, appljong unhesitatingly to each n^aa 
and individual the policy that he thou^t would work out 
best. A miracle was performed in four weeks simply be- 
cause Venizelos knew when to threaten and when to cajole. 

But on the whole his e^xrience was that of Napoleon 
upon his return from Elba. It is curious to read the ac- 


counts of British correspondents of the reception accorded 
the Sabniki troops in Thessaly and of the voluface of the 
Athenian populatbn. They ei^ressed contempt for a 
people so mercurial and lauded Venizelos as a wizard. 
The Premier had to remonstrate with them, and point out 
that their eulogies of him were left-handed compliments. 
He resented them deeply. Not only did the ill-disguised 
contempt of the correspondents toward the Greeks show 
how little they imderstood the inwardness of the conflict 
from 191 5 to 19179 but the success of Venizelos was being 
compromised by the lack of tact of his foreign friends. 
Venizelos is an intense and ardent admirer of his own race, 
and when the time comes when he can open his mouth 
and speak out what he thinks of Entente diplomacy, many 
of his judgments will be foimd to be not far different from 
those of Constantine. 

Venizelos justified the constitutionality of his position, 
and at the same time anticipated conspiracies against him, 
by assxuning that everything that had happened at Athens 
since the beginning of 1916 was ill^^al. He "purified*' the 
courts, and then haled before them Premiers and Cabinet 
Ministers, and those of the Cbnstantinists, big and small 
fry alike, for whom he thought the method of intimidation 
was the best treatment. This process was applied to the 
army and navy as well as to the civil administration. It 
was high-handed, and in many cases unjust. But no die- 


tator ewer wore kid gloves, and in time of war go\-ern- 
mtots are compelled to invoke the principle of solus populi 
supnuui lex. The difference between stupidity and genius 
indqxjtism is in the ability to comprehend the philosophy 
ol ilcxm and in knowing how far to go in the use of force. 

VenOKlos had Greece well in hand, and had won back 
lut popularity with the people, when he allowed his old 
Chamber to reassemble in August. He was ready then to 
do iriiat would have been dangerous a month before, to 
pretent his Cabinet to the Chamber, make the traditional 
Grcd: apologia pro sua vita, and ask for a vote of con- 
fidence. He choee his ground, the ccntcntian that the 
policy of Constantine had not avoided for Greece the suf- 
ferings of war, but on the other hand had led Greece into 
greater sacrifices than if the Venizelist policy of 1915 had 
been followed, with humiliation and dishonor to boot. 

Venizelos spoke for eight hours on August 26, 1917, an- 
swering every interruption during his speech. "His re- 
viewed the history of Greece f rcmi the time of his arrival in 
1910 to the abdication of King Constantine imder sixty- 
three separate heads, explaining and defending his fbrdgn 
policy and reading into the record confidential correspcmd- 
ence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When be finished 
at two o'clock in the morning, a number of prraninent 
deputies, who had been identified with the Opposition, 
and an Independent and a Socialist, made short declara* 


tionsy signifying their intention, after hearing the Premi- 
er's speech, of supporting the Government. The motion 
of confidence was put. Not a single deputy registered his 
vote against it. 

Even a summary of the speech would be impossible^in 
the limits of this book. I have used the information it 
gives in earlier chapters. But it is important to quote 
Venizelos briefly to indicate the potency of his appeal 
through his skillful use of the failure of Germany and Bul- 
garia to live up to the promises made to Constantine: 

"The followers of the German policy in Greece sought 
to persuade the people that their disagreement with the 
policy of the Liberal Party consisted in this : the Liberals 
tried to apply a radical policy and to realize the national 
aspiration, but such a policy involved dangers. They, on 
the other hand, claimed that th^ were seeking to apply 
a conservative policy, by which, for the time being, the 
realization of the national aspirations was abandoned, but 
what was in our possession was safe and war was avoided. 

"This is not true. By their policy nothing was con- 
served. We neither saved what we possessed in Eastern 
Macedonia and Northern Epirus, nor did we maintain the 
balance of power in the Balkans, which was overthrown at 
our expense by our hereditary rival. Nor did we avoid the 
horrors of war. 

"The adherents of the former King's policy knew that 
by allowing the French troops to land in Saloniki and not 
at the same time hastening to the aid of the Serbians, they 
would bring the theater of war within our Macedonian 
territory. They did not even try to prevent such a calamity^ 


because It would do hann to the German interests. If our 
policy had been followed, enemies would never have in- 
vaded our territory, even if we had not beaten the Bul- 
garians; and we should now possess Eastern Macedonia, 
Northern Epirus, and Cyprus, which the British offered 
us. But even if we supposed that the Central Empires 
would win — an impossibility — Greece would come to 
the Peace Conference with her national soil intact, even 
enlarged by Cyprus, and assisted by five or six Great 

"The policy of our opponents cannot claim the right 
to be called conservative, because it was simply a policy 
of abandoning and betraying every political interest and 
every national ideal. 

" It might have been called a conservative policy if, for 
all its betrayal of alliance with Serbia, it had taken care, 
while observing a very benevolent neutrality toward 
Serbia, to secure the inviolability of the national territory, 
checking of the undue expansion of Bulgaria, preservation 
of Hellenism in Asia Minor, Hirace, and Macxdcnia, 
immunity of our mercantile fleet, and guarantee of our 
integrity for a period of ten years after the war. And no- 
body, gentlemen, can maintain that all this was not at- 
tainable, for Greece at the beginning had a general motnl- 
ization on her hands, which might at least have been made 
use of for attaining it. For my part, even if such a policy 
as this had been pursued, I should have been one of its 
most bitter opponents, because I should Have been stirred 
by the idea that Greece had dishonored herself by disown- 
ing her obligations, and because it would have created for 
Greece a position of subservience in every way to Bulgaria. 
But I should, at all events, have recognized that it was a 
conservative policy I had to deal with. 


^^ But this so-called ooaservative policy^ what did it 
conserve^ and what did it not betray? Hie ten months' 
mobilization, the Bulgarian invasion of Eastern Mace- 
donia, the la}ring waste of Greek Macedonia, the imprison- 
ment of an army corps — are all these not equivalent to an 
unsuccessful war? The annihilation of Hellenism in Asia 
Minor, in Thrace, and Eastern Macedonia, are they not 
equivalent in themselves to another unsuccessful war? 
The suppression of every noble sentiment, the instilling 
of fear and cowardice, the insinuation of the idea that not 
only any further expansion of the realm was dangerous 
and unnecessary, but that even the expansion that had 
resulted from the Balkan Wars was injurious, and that 
the loss of it might be viewed without concern — are not 
all these again equivalent to another unsuccessful war? 
Was it then a conservative and peaceful policy that was 
pursued by the * Saviours,' when they brought upon us the 
disasters of three unsuccessful wars, and left a final war 
still hanging over us, the war to be waged against a 
Greater Bulgaria, the war in which Greece was to have 
been crushed once for all?*' 

Having stated the failure of his opponents in this strik- 
ing way, Venizelos asked, "Can our policy — the Liberal 
policy — still be applied under the conditions in which it 
was originally conceived?" His answer was the peroratbn 
of the greatest speech of his career. After charging that 
the Greece of 1917 did not even "distantly resemble" the 
Greece of 191 5, and that the men who pursued a German 
policy " can boast of the truly alarming success that has 
attended their efforts," he cried: 

llinnr wu only tem p onuy, and win be foBcmed, at I fed 
aMored, bjr dw rtstoimtioD ct her full nationil waatf, I 
•ee Bnigana **"^ "" ">iwm "B')* aggnuwned, ud nady tD 
&11 upoo n* toaoncnr to cnA and mbjngate m. I aee 
piB repme oc uttenial ootimitioo inen from roc ocad wMh 
a fredi impetiu and a htih vigor. I we ^ c cfl ti ciuic 
wiec^ lMetiieR(7alanigraliaoitiaaMateof<fiMol»* 

"Neverdidei^ iriib all dieie disadnntageoiH OQn£- 
Qooitinyoptinuini does not deteftine. Aaatioiiinucbibr 
no leM tiian dine thnpaand yean has pasted tbira^ 
great trials -without dSsi^pearin^ a natioa iriudi ob^ 
yesterday reoorded the victaries at 191a and 1913, a 0** 
lion which, although betrayed by its rulers, succeeded in 
finding within itself suffident moral strength to create a 
new state, to raise a new army, and write, as I have often 
said, some of the brightest pages of our military history, 
I am unshakably convinced that such a nation sull con- 
ceals within itself enough vitality, even in this last mo- 
moit, to achieve its own salvation. 

^'Gentlemen, the nation is aware that I have never 
promised it anything which was not attainable. Tlie na- 
tion knows that I have never fallen short in the promises I 
have made. 

"In taking part in this World War, we shall not only 
regain the national territories we have lost, we shall not 
only reestablish our honor as a nation, we shall not only 
effectively defend our national interests at the Peace Con- 
ference and secure our national future, but we shall also 
be a worthy member of the family of free nations which 
that Conference will organize, and we shall hand down 
to our children such a Greece as generations past have 


dreamed of, whom we*must show ourselves not unworthy 
to succeed, such a Greece as we ourselves foreshadowed in 
our recent victories of 1912 and 1913." 

Venizelos found and took advantage of his enemies' 
most vulnerable point to drive home the attack against 
them and to justify his own drastic step of breaking with 
and defying the Constantinist Government. The Minis- 
ters of Germany and Bulgaria at Athens had promised 
Premier Skouloudis that "the individual liberty, property 
rights, and established religious conditions will be re- 
spected"; and that "the German and Bulgarian troops 
will act in a manner absolutely friendly toward the popi2^ 
lation of the country." This letter was written on May 22, 
1916. Four days later the Central Empires and Bulgaria 
invaded Greek territory. There were massacres, pillage, 
requisitions, usurpation of authority, interference with 
churches and schools, confiscation of public revenues, per- 
secutions, deportations. The martyrdom of Greek Mace- 
donia was at its height when Venizelos spoke. It had been 
the hardest adverse factor Constantine had had to contend 
with in appealing for popular support of his policy. It 
worked now in favor of Venizelos. He was shrewd enough 
to see how strong a card it was. The Greeks hated the Bul- 
garians and were bitter over the persecutions. The ag- 
grandizement of Bulgaria had long caused them to doubt 
the wisdom of Cbnstantine and his advisers. 


The odicr appeal in the peroratioo of Venizelos was 
equaUy forccfuL When had be led them oq vnth false 
promises? When had he failed to keep the promises he 
made? No man could say him nay. The record of five 
yearv, frwn 1911 to 1915, was written into the history of 
Greece. What a contrast urith the record of 1915 to 1917! 

On two other points Venizdos felt that defense of hit 
policy was wise. In explaining why he did not advise Kii^ 
Alexander to order a new election, he said: 

" I wish nobody to think, even for a mintite, that if 
lacked the deep conviction of our power, due to a mi 
date from the Greek people, I could find myself in Ath< 
Ibroag^ the aid of fn^dgnera, however great prote c tora 
and guarantors they might be. Ilie revohitim has tri- 
umphed and our rivals are forced to recognize us. They 
accept us as a Cabinet, they tolerate us, if you please, but 
they tell us, 'Why don't you govern without any Chants 
ber?* And they wonder why, unce the Government of the 
scum of politics has been getting along without a Chamr 
ber, we do not govern similarly. I should refuse to govern 
a country without the support of the representatives of the 

"Then they say, *Why have you called the Chamber of 
May 31?' None detues the danger, if not the impossibility, 
of holding a new election now. Tliis being the case, the 
convocation of the Chamber of May 31 was logical The 
Liberal Party has never, not even for one mconent, recog- 
nized the legality of the rojral coup d'etat dissolving that 
party. We did not participate in the elections of Decent* 
ber 6, and later, thinking the partidpatbn in the second 


elections forced upon us, we declared clearly to our electors 
that we did not intend by participating to assume the ob- 
ligation to sit in a Chamber whose legality we did not 
recognize. The King, putting aside the people's suze- 
rainty, meant to concentrate in himself all the power in 
order to become a King by the grace of God. 

'^Even had I considered immediate elections possible, I 
should have insisted on not accepting the premiership un- 
less I were permitted to call into existence, at least for a 
short time, the unlawfully dissolved Chamber of May 31^ 
that we might have a political precedent in the history of 
Greece as a lesson for the future. 

"Those of you who have visited Westminster Palace, 
where the British Parliament meets, will recall that at the 
main entrance there is a tablet with words something like 
these — I do not remember them exactly: *Here Charles 
the King of England was beheaded because he conspired 
to usurp the liberties of the English people/ Whenever 
the King goes to Westminster Palace to open and close 
sessions of Parliament, he passes by that tablet. It has re- 
mained there for two and a half centuries, because people 
worthy of liberty, as are the English people, do not mean 
to forget the lessons of their history, but to use them for 
future generations. I propose to make a motion in the Na- 
tional Assembly about to be called, that a similar tablet 
should be put in an appropriate place, so that when the 
Greek King comes to open the Chamber, he may see words 
like these: 'King Cbnstantine, having violated the Consti- 
tution by dissolving for the second time the Chamber of 
1915, in order to impose upon Greece his personal policy, 
lost his throne. The dissolved Chamber, called together 
again in 1917, continued its constitutional work.'" 


Venizelos left to his Minister of the Interior, Repoulis, 
the care of eiplalmng the attitude of the Cabinet toward 
ptuiishments, as this would fall within the sphere of Re- 
poulis. The new Minister of the Interior declared, reply- 
ing to an interpellation: 

"The fwlicy of crime and the violation of the Constitu- 
tion for over two years cannot pass without consequences. 
I do not know how great an effort is required of the present 
Government in order that it may undo all the harm that 
has ODme since 1915, and in order that it may serve the in- 
terests of Greece in the largest sphere possible. For the 
sake of the successful prosecution of the war into which we 
have now officially entered, it has been recommended that 
we should seek for hannony and re^in from persecutioii. 
Of persecution there will be ncme. The IJberals have 
brought an olive branch frcnn Salonlki as against the bayo- 
nets of terrorization held by their rivals here. But those 
who recommend harmony cannot afford to recommend 
indulgence and pardon for the great criminals among the 
guilty ones. Yes, harmony among all, because that is 
what the interest of Greece demands. Yes, forgiveness to 
the unfortunate, to those who were blinded and dragged 
astray behind the chariot of despotism, because that is 
what justice and humanity demand. But we cannot leave 
our work imguarded against vipers, against new conspira- 
cies and dangers. Such an attitude on the part of the Gov- 
ernment and the Liberal Party would be a criminal jeop- 
ardizing of the future of Greecx." 

In the autumn, as soon as he felt that he could safety 
leave the country, Venizeloe visited the Entente capitals. 


where he received an aknost royal reception. He was lion* 
ized in London. King Geoige dined him at Buckingham 
Palace, the Lord Mayor received him at the Mansion 
House, and a banquet was given in his honor by the Brit*- 
ish Parliament. Mr. Balfour, Earl Curzon, and Winston 
Churchill spoke at the Mansion House reception. Lord 
CuTzovij betrayed into an unusual warmth of language, 
said: "The feelings excited by Tricoupis, the deeds that he 
wrought, the emergencies with which he was faced, were as 
nothing compared with those which have been encoun- 
tered and triimiphantly overcome by our guest of this 
afternoon." In his reply Venizelos made the interesting 
assertion that the right moment for the intervention of 
Greece was the Dardanelles expedition. This would have 
won the war and "peace might have been secured in the 
coiirse of the year 1916.*' If this be true, as it well may be, 
the struggle between King Cbnstantine and Venizelos will 
appear as an event of fatal import in history. For already 
we realize that the prolongation of the war after 1916 was 
as disastrous to the final victors as to the vanquished. 

On this triimiphal tour, undertaken for business, the 
Greek Premier did not allow himself to be dazzled or frus- 
trated by the honors done him. He had serious work to 
accomplish. He was trusted, but his country was not. 
The Entente had become accustomed to consider Greece 
as an object of suspicion and a football. The blockade was 


xnr letely relaxed, and Greece as an ally suffered little 
than Greece as a neutral from higfa-handed interfer- 
: with her shipping and commerce. Tlie war was still 
a critical period. 

Statesmen high in the councils of the Entente had ni 
T faith nor interest in the Balkan end of the military 
rations. Notable among these was Clemenceau, a bit- 
opponent of the Saloniki expedition from the first, who 
1 just succeeded Painleve as Premier of France. 
:re is an old saying that a man who throws bouquets 
[iself misses the mark. He misses the mark, also, if he 
ws the throwing of bouquets by others to beccane a 
habit. Venizelos had to conceal his impatientx, his hot 
blood, sometimes his disgust, behind a smiling exterior. 
}ic had to appear leisurely when he was in a hurry. He 
knew he could not storm at the hostile and the stiqiid in 
Rome and Paris and London as he did in Athens. He had 
learned in his dealings with the Powers in Crete that the 
sole motive of European diplomacy was self-interest, and 
that the Entente Powers were interested in his country 
only so far as the aid of Greece might help them against 
Germany and might further their interests after the war 
in the Near East. The enthusiasm and admiration of En- 
tente statesmen for him personally was genuine enough. 
Had he not been a loyal friend from the beginning and 
was he not at last delivering the goods? But as Premier 


of Greece he was a potential adversary with whom to 
measure swords. The solidarity of comradeship-in-arms 
never enters into diplomatic relations. Each for himself, 
and the devil take the hindmost. Venizelos had no inten- 
tion of being the hindmost, and he received the compli- 
ments of his colleagues as a woman does those of other 

Whatever they said in the press and at public recep- 
tions and dinners, Entente statesmen did not immediately 
adjust themselves to the fact that the revolutionary leader 
of Saloniki had become the head of an Allied State. For a 
long time a rebel against constituted if not constitutional 
authority and backed by only part of his nation, Venizelos 
had been dependent upon the French and British for the 
success of his perilous undertaking. Now he could speak 
as an equal to equals. Since August, 1917, Venizelos has 
been a thorn in the flesh to Entente diplomacy: for he 
has acted as the statesmen of the Great Powers have acted. 
He has insisted upon a full recognition of the rights and in- 
terests and aspirations of Greece, not abating his pressure 
a whit when what Greece needed and wanted seemed to 
interfere with particular interests and ambitions of the 
Entente Powers. A feeling of dismay and anxiety, which 
has never been allayed, arose in Entente diplomatic cir- 
cles when it was realized that Venizelos could not be 
patted oh the back and hushed up or diverted by being 


tx>ld what a wonderful man he was. For he qx>ke as Greece 
about Greece, and not as Venizelos about Venizelos. 

The imminence of a new German threat against Paris 
unnerved the French and British, and caused a more gen- 
eral acceptance in military and political circles than at any 
previous time of the dictum that '^ the war must be won on 
the western front.** But Greece, through Venizelos^ urged 
that the Macedonian front was never more important. 
Far from acquiescing in diminishing the Allied effectives 
at Saloniki or simply in keeping the armies up to their ac- 
tual nimierical strength, Venizelos pressed for reinforce- 
ments, for mimitions and equipment for the newly forming 
Greek divisions, and preparation for a great offensive 
against Bulgaria. He had to contend with the aftermath of 
the Caporetto disaster, with the formidable German offen- 
sive of the spring of 1918, and with British preoccupation 
in Palestine. But he kept on opposing to the western front 
theory the theory that "the war begad in the Balkans and 
will end in the Balkans.*' 

He added the voice of Greece to the voices of Italy and 
France in the clamor for English coal. He entered the 
scramble for ships. Greece had suffered horribly from the 
blockade, and must now be fed. He reinforced his plea on 
this point by the two potent arguments that food for 
Greece was essential to sustain the prestige of his Govern- 
ment against Constantinists and pro-Germans, and that 


the Allies could not put Greece off through the plea of 
losses from submarines. The ships of Greek r^stry ex- 
isted in sufficient niunber, not only to supply the vital 
necessities of Greece, but also to contribute to the success 
of the Saloniki campaign, which was the one that inter- 
ested Greece most. Let the British Admiralty apply to 
Greece the same elementary principle applied to Great 
Britain, the use of ships of home r^stry to look after the 
home folks first. 

During the fourth year of the conflict, which was 
Greece's first year as an ally, the World War became a 
struggle for existence. And yet, it is remarkable that Al- 
lied statesmen, by a combination of habit and optimism, 
never lost sight of the spoils after the war. In the darkest 
da}rs, when they knew not what the morrow would bring, 
they kept maneuvering for position, so as to be ready to 
advance particular interests to the detriment of friend and 
foe alike when arms should be laid down. It was a weird 
and complicated situation which cannot be accurately 
described and commented upon until we jbave more per- 
spective. But it is not conjecture to assert that the situa- 
tion did exist, and that Venizelos realized to the full that 
the postrbellum diplomatic battle would be fought most 
bitterly over the disposition of r^ons in which Greece was 
vitally interested, the eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans, 
the Ottoman Empire. Venizelos could do much person- 


aDr. Bat Greece most be stxcDg wfacn the war ended, and 
nmst go to the Peace CcMifcfcna not as a flip|£ant, asld^ 
for afansy bat as an all^ with the prestige of having oon- 
tribated fay her aims to wmnmg the victory. 

In his piodamatioQ to the Greek natkxi at the time of 
the abdicatkxi dt King Coostantiney I£^ Commissiooer 
Jonnart told the Greeks that an ''era of peace" lay before 
them. This was criticized at the time as an ^r^oos 
bhmder. Was it that? Did JcHmart unwitting handicap 
Venizek)8 by making a promise that would render difficult 
a new mobilization, once the Venizelist Government was 
reinstalled at Athens? It is not easy to ansvrer these ques- 
tions with any d^ree of certainty. The United States had 
just entered the war. The French General Staff was still 
hoping to end the war quickly by piercing the German 
lines. Italy entertained great hopes. Kerensky and Brus- 
iloff were counted upon for a new Russian defensive. It 
might well be that in jgetting rid of Constantine the En- 
tente Powers had in mind simply protecting the Saloniki 
base, and did not count upon Greek cooperation in a vic- 
torious offensive. 

If they thought that Venizelos would prove a useful 
pawn, they made a miscalculation. His work at Saloniki 
should have forewarned them. Venizelos had only one 
thought all along, to get Greece into the war as a real fac- 
tor in the fighting, so that when the Peace Conference ar- 


rived, Greece would be claiming her due and not favors. 
The whole life of Venizelos taught him that the Great 
Powers did not dispense favors. Only the fighters had a 
share in the spoils, each according to his strength. Greece 
was very late, but there might yet be time to participate 
in the final campaign. And the silver lining of the cloud 
was the fact that the new Greek army could be coimted 
upon to be fresh and imimpaired when the moment to 
talk about peace terms arrived. Events have justified the 
vision of Venizelos. 

When Venizelos returned to Athens, the Treasury had 
a deficit of seven himdred million francs. A year later 
Greek money was at an unprecedented premium in ex- 
change. During the decline of all Etiropean exchanges in 
1919 and 1920, the drachma resisted depreciation with 
more success than the money of any Continental European 
belligerent. The 191 8 crops were twenty per cent better 
than those of 1917. The railways, extended and reorgan- 
ized, rendered invaluable service in the Macedonian cam- 
paign. The merchant marine was able to put almost one 
hundred and fifty steamships at the disposal of the Allies. 
The Greek fleet proved a precious aid in clearing the east- 
em Mediterranean of submarines. 

At the time the Allies disembarked at Saloniki, fifteen 
Greek divisions were mobilized. We have told the story of 
the demoralization through intrigue and inactivity, and 


tiie hnnuEating demobilizauon. During the winter at 
SalnwiM Veolzelos created three divisions on a war footiog, 
lecnuted irom Macedonia, Crete, and the ^gean Islands. 
Wdi Ae remobilization of the sununer of 1917 Venizekw 
faadsuterial for eight more divisions. Tliese were officered 
sad tnined in the winter of 1917-18, were gradually itt- 
trodaoed into the fighting tn the late spring and summer 
cl 1918, and when the Entente Powers were ready for the 
final defcnBtve, Greece had eleven divisions on war footing, 
one in E4Mrus and the rest on the Macedonian front. Of 
dine hundred thousand men tmder arms, one hundred 
and seventy thousand partidpated in tiw actual figfatii^. 

Although, in ui:^ng the necessity of an offensive cm the 
Macedonian front, Venizelos guaranteed the effective co- 
operarion of Greece, Entente statesmen were too much 
impressed by the memory of the Constantinist demoral- 
izarion to take Venizelos seriously. Tlie worth of the three 
divisions from New Greece, formed at Salonild when 
Venizelos was head of the Provisional Government, had 
been demonstrated. But their fitting qualities were ex- 
plained by the fact that they were recruits horn r^ons 
liberated in the Balkan wars, and had ne\'er been oon* 
taminated by Royalist officers and King Constantine's 
General Staff. 

The first chance Venizelos had of refuting the asserticm 
that other Greeks would not fight under his Ieadenhq> 


was during the eariy spring attacks of 1918. He directed 
that troops of Old Greece be used by General Nider on the 
Struma front. They covered themselves with glory on 
April 15. Then Venizelos persuaded General Guillaiunat 
to confide to four Greek regiments the extremely difficult 
task of carrying the position of Skradi-Legen on May 30. 
The next day General Guillaumat telegraphed Venizelos 
that the Greeks had won a notable success and that ^Hhe 
new divisions arriving in turn on the front will draw from 
this victory, which fills all Greece with legitimate pride, a 
greater ardor still for work and combat/' The Greeks lost 
in this fight six himdred dead and seventeen himdred 
woimded. Their dash and courage, their unwavering ad- 
vance imder fire, gave the Greek army confidence in itself 
and won the esteem of the Allies, who up to this moment 
had remained doubting Thomases. 

The intervention of Greece under Venizelos on the 
Macedonian front had the same effect as the intervention 
of the Americans imder \^l8on on the Western front. As 
German morale was broken in France by the appearance 
of a new army, which would give the enemy an unques- 
tioned superiority of numbers, so the Bulgarian morale 
was broken by the une]q)ected resurrection of Greece. 
Here was a new reservoir for the enemy to tap, which 
could not be prevented from being drawn upon by lack of 
transportation facilities and the work of submarines. The 





France were given fresh courage by the arrival 

Americans. The Allies at Saloniki realized after 

i 30 that the Greece of Venizelos was going to enable 

them to make a victorious offensive. 

Not until the middle of Septemberwas General Franchet 
d'Esperey ready for the nfFpnsive that was to make the 
fatal breach in the enemy co on. Venizelos was unwill- 
ing to leave to chance or to last-minute changes a dis- 
position of the Greek army that might detract from the 
role he intended it to play. He went to General Head- 
quarters, and camped there until he was sure that the 
final orders designated five different points on the line of 
attack for the Greeks. Only then could he breathe freety. 
As he had it arranged, wherever the big break came a 
Greek division was bound to go forward with the first 
advance of Allied forces into the r^ons to be liberated. 

The Premier was received with great enthusiasm when 
he visited the troops in the frcmt lines a la Gemenceau. 
Tlie old " Zeto Basileus ! " was replaced by as spontaneous 
a "Zeto Venizelos!" which goes to prove that royal blood 
is a fetish that disappears easily before the magnetism d 
a man who has made good. Venizelos told the soldiers 
that the moment had ccnne "when the Bulgarian who is 
polluting our sacred soil will feel the point of our inflexible 
bayonets." Their answer was, "To Sofia!" 

In eight days the Bulgarians were routed all along the 


line and were in full retreat. On September 23 Premier 
MalinoflF tried to get into touch with President Wilson, but 
the Austrian wireless refused to transmit his message. On 
the afternoon of September 25 Generalissimo Todoroff, by 
order of his Government, made overtures for peace. He 
confessed that the morale of the Bulgarian army was com- 
pletely destroyed, and asked for an armistice. General 
Franchet d'Esperey refused to treat on any other basis 
than imconditional surrender. On September 29 Bul- 
garian delegates signed at Saloniki a capitulation which 
delivered Bulgaria boimd hand and foot to the Allies, and 
gave Germany and Austria-Himgary four weeks to with- 
draw troops, officials, diplomatic and consular representa- 
tives, and even private citizens. On September 30, at 
noon, the war with Bulgaria ceased. It was the beginning 
of the end for Germany. 

The Greeks were active every day from September 15 
to September 30. The Fourteenth Division, cooperating 
with the Sixteenth British Army Corps, was the first to 
cross the Bulgarian frontier. Both Franchet d'Esperey 
and General Milne declared that the Greek army had 
proved a decisive factor in the victory. The British general 
was most explicit. Writing to General Danglis on Oc- 
tober 3, General Milne said: "Without the aid of the 
Greek forces, the present victory could not have been 


After Uie collaiMc of Bulgana the miracle of Venizelos 
was appreciated more than ever. Only Bu^aria was as yet 
oat of the war. To enable the Bntifih and French to 
profit by the terms of the armistice and to cut off Turkey 
from the Central Empires, the presence of the important 
Greek contingents in a country they knew well was very 
precious. The Greeks occupied Eastern Macedonia, ad- 
vanced to the Nestos River on the Bulgarian frcmtier, and, 
by concentrating at less than a hundred miles frtmi Turk- 
ish Thrace, constituted a grave menace for Constantinc^le 
and hastened the Turkish capitulation. Other Greek di- 
visions pursued the Austro-German troops in Serbia, en- 
gaging in rear-guard actions every day. Hie Greeks were 
still after the Austrians north of Nish when the Hapsburg 
Empire sued for an armistice. Another Greek force, in 
two columns, pursued the Austrians in Albania. 

Aside from the moral prestige Greek cooperation in the 
Macedonian campaign won for Venizelos on the eve of 
peace n^otiations, this disposition of his anny in the 
Balkans was of mestimable political advanuge. Hiey 
occupied regions as part of the fighting forces of the Allies. 
They appeared as liberators to Macedonians and Serbians. 
TTiey had the excuse of concentrating a force in Eastern 
Macedonia — a region Greece intended to demand from 
Bulgaria at the Peace Conference. 

On October 6 Vcnizefos said to the Athenians: 



"This victory is not limited to putting an end to the 
struggle against Bulgaria. Its influence extends far beyond 
the peninsula and marks the beginning of the collapse of 
the enemy coalition. The signature of the armistice crowns 
triiunphantly the struggles of our national army. The 
Government desires to egress to the national army its 
congratulations and the gratitude of the nation for the 
work that the army has accomplished. Reorganized in the 
midst of so many difficulties, the national army of Old as 
well as of New Greece has known how to reestablish not 
only the military prestige of the coimtry, but also the 
honor of Greece." 

Taking advantage of the enthusiasm of the Greeks over 
their victory, Venizelos had the King issue a decree calling 
another class to the colors. Far from beginning to demo- 
bilize Venizelos determined to increase the armed strength 
of his country for eventualities which he knew were ahead. 

He intended to go to Paris to talk peace terms with the 
Entente statesmen as the Premier of a coimtry which had 
on war footing the most efficient united fighting force in 
the Near East. 




SOME statesmen of si " : luntries went to Paris witn 
great e:q)ectations. T :y hoped that the Peace Q)n- 
ference would organize itself into a judicial body to hear 
and decide upon claims with the view of establishing a 
durable world peace guaranteed by all nations. The gospd 
from the other side of the Atlantic had hypnotized them. 
And the evangelist of the new diplomacy of "open cove- 
nants openly arrived at" seemed to be determined to force 
the issue with the old-fashioned statesmen of the Great 
Powers. TTie threat in President Wilson's speech of 
September 27, 1918, was not voled. For the first time in 
history was there to be a peace conference in which the 

* No writer, without conunitting unpardonable mdiicretion* or nuking 
gueiKi and enort of fact, could record at thia time (October, 1920) the 
■tory of the life of Venizelot in detail tince the beginning of 1919. Of the 
Peace Conference and it* aftermath — eipedally the delicate negotiatk»s 
carried on directly between individual itatea — we know very little, and at 
that little we cannot tell all. Not only are negotiation* concerning the Near 
Eait itill in a itate of flux (deipite the Treaty of Sivret!), but alio we have 
not come to the end of a military occupation who«e diplomatic ruhu fuo 
a uncertain, and military campaign! againit the Turkish and Arab Ni- 
tionaliita are (tiU in progreai. Cmtequently, the biographer ii under a 
handicap in thia chapter and chapter xiv. He can only promise the reader 
a new and more complete edition later. The itory muit be enacted before 
it can be told! 


small nations would have a show? Heretofore decisions 
had been made on the basis of adjusting the claims of the 
Great Powers in conferences from which the representa- 
tives of small nations had been ri^dly excluded. Hie pro- 
posals for the Conference of Paris had established : (a) open 
sessions; (b) equal consideration for all claims, since the 
Conference was to be guided by right and not might; (c) 
a peace guaranteed by a Lea^e of Nations that would do 
away with the necessity of heavy armaments and the old 
system of alliances to preserve the balance of power. 

Venizelos, on the other hand, had no such illusions. 
Throughout the war he had been dealing with the states- 
men of the Entente Powers, and had not observed any 
change of heart or change of methods to warrant belief in 
the creation of an atmosphere of international morality at 
the Peace Conference. Of course, he was quick to grasp 
the usefulness of the Wilsonian prindples in presenting 
the cause of Greece, and he reaUzed that a League of 
Nations would increase enormously the influence and 
importance of smaller nations like Greece. Before he left 
Greece, in speeches and interviews Venizelos said that he 
welcomed the intervention of President Wilson in peace- 
making as in waging war, and that Greece made the 
American principles her own, believing them to be to her 
advantage as well as to the advantage of humanity. He 
promised that the Greek delegation would stand behind 


President Wilson in insisting upon the creation of a League 
of Nations. 

If the miracle was going to happen, Venizelos was ready 
to profit by it. More than this, he felt that an honest 
acceptance of the Wilsonian ideas would lead to the most 
satisfactory peace, so he intended to do all he could to 
bring about the miracle. But from the beginning he an- 
ticipated the defeat of Wilson, and had ready an alternate 
programme to that of the American President. He went to 
Paris prepared for an attempt to repeat the Congress of 
Berlin, and therefore made his plans to prevent the Great 
Powers from ignoring the interests and the voice of Greece, 
as they had done in 1878. 

A month before the Conference opened, Venizelos was 
on the ground, installed in a simple suite of rocnns at the 
Hotel Mercedes, near the Ctoile. TIus was a long way off 
from the Quai d'Orsay and from the Italian, American, 
and Japanese headquarters. But it was one minute irom 
the Majestic and three minutes from the Astoria, the large 
hotels that sheltered the British Peace Commission. Veni- 
zelos picked the witmer before the race started. 

The terms of the armistices granted to Austria-Hungary, 
Bulgaria, and Turkey revealed the aims of the Entente 
Powers and foretold the inevitable conflicts between them 
that were to follow. When the enemies collapsed. Great 
Britain and France and Italy hasrily wrung concessions 


from one another on some points, and where they could not 
agree began to act independently. By the time Venizelos 
reached Paris, and long before the Peace Conference opened 
its sessions, Greece was forced to make up her mind which 
of the three rivals was to be her best friend during the 
Conference. The things Venizelos had to accomplish could 
not wait indefinitely. In the Balkans and Asia Minor one 
has always to reckon with massacres and pillage and de- 
portations. TTiere was no protection for the populations 
of Graeda Irredenta in the armistice terms. 

Venizelos decided that the only policy for the Greek 
delegation was to play in with the British. The Italians 
were hostile to all the Greek aspirations. The French 
would have to subordinate their Balkan and Turkish 
policies to the changing exigencies of the German and 
Russian situations. The Americans were without a definite 
policy, and did not attempt to assert one. Because Serbia 
was at loggerheads with Riunania and Italy, a united 
front of the Balkan States was impossible. 

On the other hand, Venizelos recognized the community 
of interests between Great Britain and his country. Ever 
since Cretan days he had realized that if Great Britain 
were hostile to Greek ambitions, the unity of Hellas could 
not be achieved. Owing to the configuration of the coun* 
try, mainland as well as islands were under the range of the 
cannon of the mistress of the seas. Greece could not live^ 


let alone prosper and expand, with Great Britain as an 
enemy. The incorporation of Crete and Cyprus and the 
other islands in Greece, the emancipation of the Anatolian 
littoral, the return of Hellas to Constantinople — in the 
coming true of these dreams Great Britain was an essen- 
tial factor. Military considerations, political considera- 
tions, economic considerations, diaated to Athens firm 
and fast friendship with London. The fortunes of the men 
who stood behind Venizelos were dependent upon a policy 
of entenU cordiale with the leading maritime and commer- 
cial and international banking Power. Added to all these 
compelling reasons, Venizelos cherishes a profound admira- 
tion for English mstitutions, and, while he accepts the es- 
sential dishonesty of all diplomacy, he has never lost his 
faith in the inherent sense of justice of the Englishman as 
an individual and the inherent sense of fur play of the 
British as a nation. This I have heard so often from his 
own lips that I am glad to record the tribute to my race. 
Before Christmas I had the privilc^ of spending a 
morning with Vemzelos in his office at the Mercedes. He 
gave me a copy of the memorandum he was going to sub- 
mit to the Conference, but which had not yet been released 
for publication. "Put that in your pocJtet," he said, "to 
refresh your memory afterwards. Now I shall go over our 
case with you, and you may ask me any questions that 
arise in your mind." We sat at a table with a map before 



U8, and for three hours I listened to the exposition of 
Greece's claims. Venizelos needed no notes. Even when 
he was in the midst of a maze of geographical and statis- 
tical data, he did not hesitate for an instant. Names of 
places and figures of population were firmly embedded in 
his mind and produced with a dexterity that made me 
realize how the man, as he had always been, was the 
embodiment of his programme. And the progranune was, 
as it had always been, the xmification of Hellas. 

During the long and weary months of compromising 
French and British and Italian national interests (for that 
was the raison d^etre and unending agenda of the Paris 
Conference!) Venizelos was able to keep up his vitality 
and his enthusiasm. In August, 1919, with all the windows 
open and an electric fan going, he dazed me by naming 
hams in Thrace and dting figures of population with ihe 
same ease and insistence as in December, 1919, with logs 
burning in the fireplace. Weather means nothing when 
one's work grips him, and a man interested in his work is 
never tired. 

The thesis of Vemzelos at Paris was that the complete 
victory of the Allied and Assodated states afforded the 
occasion ^^to fix the political frontiers of European states 
in exact accordance, or as approximately as possible, with 
their ethnical character. In this way the indispensable 
basis of the Society of Nations will be created/' 

Taken litenlljr, this tutemeat U indupataUe. Sodi « 
:readjiutmeiit of frontien in Enrope was "the iiMUqMD- 
•able bans o( the Sodetjr of NatKHU,** and if an hodcflt 
atteoq^t to appnmmate pc^tical frontkn **in aooocdance 
wi^ tbdr eduucal cfaaractor** bad been made by the 
Farit Cooferenoe, the Covenant of liie League of Natiaos 
is the treaties mnld not have been an anomaty ex- an 
iostniment of oppresaon. Snce Vauzelos knevr, honwer, 
that European statesmen were not going to tiy to diaw 
frontiers by applying the same princ^ everywhere and 
udng one wdght and osk measure, be set forth and de- 
fended reservations to his thens. IBa first reservatim was 
the modifying alternative, "or as approximately as possi- 
ble," and his second reservation was the defimtion of 
"ethnical" by the test of national consciousness rather 
than of language or race. Venizelos did not believe it was 
possible to adjudge frontiers to Bulgaria on the basis of 
nationality; he denied the possession of Turkish national 
consciousness to great masses of Mohammedans; and he 
repudiated the application of the language test of nation- 
ality to Epirotes and to Bulgarian-speaking Mohamme- 
dans and Orthodox Christians. By making these reserva- 
tions he ran afoul of the American experts, British Liberals, 
French and British Tiukophiles and Bulgarophtles, Italian 
diplomats, and Albanian Nationalists. 

Venizelos claimed that there were eight and a quarter 


millions in " the Hellenic Nation," of whom only fifty-five 
per cent lived within the Kingdom of Greece. TTiese were 
distributed as follows : 

Kingdom of Greece 4,300,000 

Northern Epirus and Southern Albania 151,000 

Thrace and region of Constantinople 731,000 

Bulgaria 439OOO 

Asia Minor 1,694,000 

Dodecanese 102,000 

Cyprus 235,000 

Egypt and rest of Africa 150,000 

North and South America 450,000 

Southern Russia 400,000 

In this table Venizelos did not include 88,000 Greeks in 
the territories assigned to Bulgaria by the Treaty of 
Bukarest, because it suited his case better to consider the 

Turkish province of Thrace as its boundaries were before 
the Balkan War of Liberation. 

After excluding the million Greeks scattered all over the 
world, Venizelos set forth in detail the claims of Greece in 
the Balkan Peninsula, Asia NCnor, and the Islands. Greece 
took for granted that the portion of Eastern Macedonia 
awarded to Bulgaria atBukarestin 191 3 now belonged to 
Greece. The Greek army occupied this region at the time 
of the armistice, and its incorporation in Greece was not a 
debatable question. This much was settled by the victory. 
fy suisy fy teste! The Greek claims in Northern Epirus 
had to be adjusted with Italy and Albania, in Thrace with 
Bulgaria and Greece, in Constantinople with the victorious 


Powers, in Asia Minor with Italy and Turkey, In the Is- 
lands with Italy and Great Britain. The memorandum of 
December, 1919, which was used as the basis of Greek 
claims when Venizelos appeared a month later before the 
Council of Ten, did not mention Cyprus except in the 
table of distribution of "the Hellenic nation" at the be- 
ginning of the memorandimi. Venizelos made no demand 
for Cyprus. Of the Dodecanese he said simply that "the 
Greek Government has no doubt that its great neighboring 
nation will itself take the initiative in proposing the re- 
trocession of these islands to Greece." While stating that 
"the natural solution would be to adjudge Constantinople 
and its vilayet to Greece," Venizelos recognized that " if 
the Society of Nations is to be established immediately, 
Constantinople might, in ccmsequentx of the great inter- 
national interests comiected with the possession of the 
Straits, form, with the latter and a sufficient area of hinter- 
land, an international state imder the protection of the 
Society of Nations." 

Like a wise general, Venizelos marshaled all his batteries 
upon the territories where resistance would be least for- 
midable and reserved assault upon the others for a more 
fevorable time. Only those who have had the opportunity 
to study Greek irredentism from within appreciate the 
firmness and tact called for by this shrewd policy of moder- 
ation. It required as much skill and patience, as much 




courage, to resist the pressure of unredeemed Greeks out- 
side the territories claimed in the memorandiun and before 
the Council of Ten as to oppose the intrigues of Entente 
statesmen and the pleas of friends of the Bulgarians and 
Tiu'ks. It was natural that some unredeemed Greeks 
should be tempted to place the interests of their own 
localities above the greater good of Hellas, and to feel that 
Venizelos was betraying them because he refrained from 
asking for the liberation of their homes. By personal 
friends, who had been loyal to him in the dark days, who 
had aided him financially, and who had come with high 
hopes to Paris, Venizelos was urged to extend the claims 
of his original memorandiun. When he refused to com- 
promise the success of his programme by asking for the 
unattainable, he was upbraided, branded as an ingrate and 
even as a traitor to Hellas. But no man accomplishes great 
things in this world who is afraid of being misunderstood 
by his friends. 

In Northern Epirus Venizelos did not ask for the north- 
western corner (Kourvelessi and the northern parts of the 
kazas of Tepelini and Premeti), admitting that their popu- 
lation was "practically entirely Albanian." But he had 
really in mind to make concessions to the Italians who were 
determined not to allow Greece to come so near Valona. 
"There would remain in Northern Epirus a Greek popu- 
lation of 120,000 and an Albanian population of 80,000, 


Inextricably mixed to such an extent that it would not 
be possible to divide the cxjuntry geographically in such a 
manner as to include Greeks in the Greek State and Al- 
banians in the Albanian State," declared Venizelos, and 
he contended that "it would be contrary to all equity that 
a majority which possesses a higher form of dvilization 
should have to submit to a minority possessing an inferior 

We cannot go into the merits of the dispute between 
Albania and Greece over Northern Epinis, and into the 
intrigues of Italy to deprive Greece of this precious bit of 
her terre irredente. During the First Balkan War Greece 
occupied Northern Epinis, then a part of Turkey, but after 
the creation of independent Albania through the interven- 
tion of the Powers, a mixed European commission dedded 
to incorporate the greater part of the province in Albania. 
The boundary was formally drawn up by the Powers at 
Florence, and Venizelos risked his popularity by ordering 
the withdrawal of the Greek forces. At the rime he felt 
that it was the lesser of two evils to yield to the Powers, 
for he needed their good-will in arranging delicate out- 
standing questions with Turkey. But the Epirotes re- 
volted against the dedsion and formed a Provisional Gov- 
ernment. Once more the Powers intervened, and com- 
promised in their usual way by declaring Northern Epirus 
auton(»noustmder the suzerainty of Albania. Hiepec^le, 


however, including the authorities, just as had been the 
case in Crete, warned the Powers that autonomy was only 
a makeshift and union with Greece was the desideratum. 

When Italy occupied Valona in October, 1914, after the 
outbreak of the World War, an arrangement was made 
between Venizelos and the Italian Foreign Minister, San 
Giuliano, by which Greece reoccupied Northern Epirus. 
Both countries were at that time neutral, but after Italy 
entered the war she extended her occupation of Albania, 
and the Greeks were compelled to evacuate kaza after 
kaza. Greece, still neutral and suspected of sympathies 
with the Central Empires, could do nothing. Although 
Italy officially notified Greece on August 26 and Septem- 
ber 22, 1916, that the occupation was "purely military 
and provisional for the purpose of combating the spy serv- 
ice of the Austro-Bulgarian armies," the Italian authori- 
ties treated Northern Epirus as a part of Albania, and it 
was from Argyrocastro that General Ferrero proclaimed 
on Jime 3, 1917, "Independent Albania, with the friend- 
ship and und^ the protection of Italy." 

This was the situation when Venizelos asked for North- 
em Epirus at Paris. He was willing to make concessions 
to Italy on the coast, although in doing so he incurred the 
enmity of fanatical Epirotes, but he told me, before the 
Conference met, that it would be impossible to allow Italy 
to control the interior of Northern Epirus, under the guise 


of "independent Albania," because It would give Italy a 
strong military foothold In the heart of the Balkans, where 
&he could be only a menace to the security of Serbia and 
Greece alike. Of course, nothing of this entered into the 
memorandum to the Peace Conference nor into the ex- 
position of Venizelos before the Council of Ten. TTie Greek 
Premier could have presented to the Council proof that 
the Epirotes were being persecuted for their attachment 
to Greece, archbishops and bishops and priests departed 
or thrown into jail, Mohammedan bands organized and 
armed and incited against Christians who refused to de- 
clare for the Albanian (really Italian) Government — a 
formidable list of assassinations and intlmldadons with 
names and places. 

But this would have been madness and would have 
acoDmplished no good result. For the organizer of the 
persecutions and massacres, Baron Sonnino, was one of the 
Ten who were to judge the merits of the Greek cause. He 
had a seat in the inner circle : Venizelos, like the premiers 
of all the small states, was an outsider. When the Council 
was narrowed down to four. Premier Orlando, the chief of 
Vcnizelos's enemies, was one of the four. The Epirotes 
grumbled loudly at Paris when they saw that Vemzetos 
was not pressing the Greek claims to all of Northern 
Epirus. They remembered how he had bowed to the fiat 
of the Powers in 1913 and had accepted the boundary 



drawn up at Paris. They became nervous and apprehen- 
sive. A warm friend and supporter of Venizelos came to 
my atelur one day. With tears rolling down his cheeks, he 
told me that, as a good Epirote, he would have to break 
with the Premier. I reminded him of how the whole trouble 
had arisen through the Constantinist policy of neutrality. 
Had Greece gone right into the war at the beginning, as 
Venizelos urged, there would have been no Epirus question 
at the Peace Conference. Italy would never have had the 
chance to occupy the province. I told the Epirote, what he 
already knew, that every province of imredeemed Greece 
was equally precious to Venizelos and regarded by him as 
the chair ^ of Hellas. 

The representatives of the Dodecanese (the twelve 
islands off the southwestern comer of Asia Minor) also 
confided in me their worry over the attitude of Venizelos. 
They were deeply resentful of the caudous language of the 
memorandum, and joined with the Cypriotes in asserting 
that Venizelos gave the lie to his past in Crete when he did 
not demand the annexation of the Dodecanese and Cyprus. 
Had not Great Britain offered Cyprus to Greece three 
years before? And was not their title to the island as dubi- 
ous as that of Italy to the Dodecanese? Ever since the 
Yoimg Turk Revolution of 1908 the Cypriotes had over- 

^ This word loses its vigor, and to a certain measure its connotation, by 
translation. Flesh is not used in English in the intimate figurative sense 
that chair is used in French. 


whelmingly been in favor of umon with Greece. The in- 
habitants of the Dodecanese had never ceased to protest 
against the continued occupation of their islands by Italy. 
During the war they had voted their union with Greece, 
and had been persecuted by the Italians in the same way 
the Belgians were persecuted by the Germans. Venizelos 
had proofs of the policy of starvation, deportation, im- 
prisonment, and expulsion that was being carried on in the 
Dodecanese by the Italians during the time the Peace 
Conference was meeting. Affidavits by the himdred were 
in his possession. TTie Greek delegation published white 
books, presented remonstrances to the Peace Conference, 
and issued bulletins to the newspapers about persecutions 
of Greeks by Bulgarians in Thrace and by Turks in Asia 
K^nor. To those who suffered in the same way at the 
hands of the Italians — the Epirotes and the Islanders — 
Venizelos counseled patience. On the evening before he 
presented the claims of Greece to the Council of Ten, 
Venizelos said to me: "Tlie larger questions must come 
first. Acquiescence must be obtained to our claims in 
Thrace and Asia Minor. Italy already opposes me in Asia 
Minor. If I cry out against what is happening in Northern 
Epinis and if I demand the Dodecanese, Italy may join 
you Americans in contesting my claims to Hu'ace. I must 
not give Italy an excuse for supporting Bulgaria.** 
Vemzelos, however, was able to go much farther in the 



case of Epirus than of the Dodecanese. There was an 
agreement during the first year of the war between the 
Entente Powers and Greece that Italy and Greece should 
share Southern Albania and Northern Epirus. The Do- 
decanese, on the other hand, was definitely allotted to 
Italy by Great Britain and France and Russia in the secret 
treaty of April 26, 1915. The Greek Premier was not in a 
strong enough position at the beginning of the Peace Con- 
ference — or in fact at any time during the deliberations in 
Paris — to protest openly against this cynical document, 
which violated the principles the Entente Powers had 
claimed to be fighting to maintain. 

In his claim to Northern Epirus Venizelos advanced 
the famous theory of national consciousness as the test of 
nationality. "One may be tempted," he said, " to raise the 
objection that a substantial portion of this Greek popula- 
tion uses Albanian as its mother tongue, and is, conse- 
quently, in all probability, of Albanian origin; but the dem- 
ocratic conceptions of the Allied and Associated Powers 
cannot admit of any other standard than that of national 
consciousness." Venizelos went on to point out that the 
standard of race or language as the test of nationality was 
the "Germanic conception." He claimed that the Epirotes 
had been Greek bng before the Kingdom of Greece was 
founded, that their leading families furnished the chief 
heroes of the War of Independence, and that Northern 


Epirotes had been among the foremost benefactors of 
Greece, founding Greek schools and public institutions. 
" It may be useful to add that the present vice-president of 
the Greek Ministerial Council, Mr. Repoulis; the com- 
mander-in-chief of the Greek army, General Danglis; the 
commander-in-chief of the Greek naval forces and Minis- 
ter of Marine, Admiral Koundouriotis; and the majority 
of the crews of the Greek navy, speak Albanian as their 
mother tongue." In my own personal experience I have had 
ample confirmation of the ardent Greek national con- 
sciousness of inhabitants of Epirus and also of Attica, 
whose language in the home was Albanian. When he 
expounded this theory to me, Venizelos explained what he 
meant by saying that the standard of race or language is a 
Germanic conceptbn. He dted German authors on the 
confines of Deuischikum, who claimed for Germany by the 
language or racial test most of Switzerland, Flandera, 
Alsace-Lorraine, and even Holland. 

The repudiation of the language test of nationality is the 
most important feature of Hellenic claims. Venizelos has 
applied the theory of national consciousness to his statis- 
tics in Hirace and to his aspirations in Asia Minor. When 
the Bulgarians broke away from the Greek Orthodox 
Church and formed thdr own church vnth an exarch, not 
all Bulgarians followed the new movement. Hiose who 
remamed within the fold of the Orthodox Church are 



claimed as Greeks, for they are supposed to have a Greek 
^^ national consciousness." Many of these Bulgarophones 
do claim to be Greeks, and as the separatist movement to 
form an exarchate was national rather than religious, the 
presumption from the fact that some remained faithful to 
the Patriarchate is that they preferred to be considered 
Greeks. Other Bulgarians, at the time of the Turkish con- 
quest or later, accepted Islam. To these Mohammedans, 
known as ^^Pomaks," Venizelos also denies Bulgarian 
nationality. In his statistics he puts the Bulgarian-speak- 
ing members of the Orthodox Church with the Greeks and 
the Bulgarian-speaking Mohammedans with the Turks. 
The Bulgarians, of course, consider all who speak Bul- 
garian as their nationals. This accounts, in part, for the 
discrepancy in statistics. 

The theory of national consdousness as the test of na- 
tionality is reasonable. Venizelos makes out a good case 
for it. But one may argue that if a man has sufficient in- 
telligence to be conscious of his nationality to the point of 
considering himself of a nation other than that whose lan- 
guage he speaks, a plebiscite is feasible and could be under- 
taken. The difficulty comes in consenting to reciprocity. 
Venizelos, with his plea of national consciousness to jus- 
tify the wide extension of the frontiers of Greece, admits 
the force of his own argument only when it works in his 
own favor. When it works against him, he puts forth other 


ooottdentkna, wfaid^ M lihtf ^«rfftn(£gr €«w, oBtwdf^ tl^ 

test invoked dwwfaere to juftify hii daims. 

H we gnuit that Veniidoi has pioved hit cue in Nbrtli- 
em E|nnu and diat there it much in finror of the Gre^ 
dainu m Hiraoe^ what nnut be the attitude of tiie inqwr- 
tial student of die Balkans toward tfaecsdnwxtaf ftilgaria 
jpom Macedonia, wiiidi is realty the Qiain aoorceof the 
MtRnthit^ diAt have felkwed the IVeatjr of Bokarest? 

^waBog at the CoU^ libre des Sdeaoes Sodales in 
Fkris in die midst of the war 0>cember 12, 1917), IVo- 
leMor Djericfa, of the Uuvenhy of Bdgnde^ {Mesented as 
tdlingly as it is posnble to present it the Sobian pcnnt 
of view in regard to the ethnography of the MacedoniaQ 
Slavs. He gave a wealth of statisUcs and authoriUes, es- 
pecially on the etymological side of the controversy, and 
reviewed the Wstory of Macedonia from the sixth centuiy 
to 1789. It was an attempt to prove that ahnost all Slainc 
lingiusts consider the Macedonian dialect as standing be- 
tween Bulgarian and Serbian, and that old Macedonian 
popular literature and current poetry is more nearly Ser- 
bian than Bulgarian. Professor Djerich asserted that the 
peasants of Macedonia never called themselves Bulgarians 
before the nineteenth century. But is it not the nine- 
teenth century that counts? In considering any national 
movement in Central and Eastern Eurc^ie, the historian 
begins where Prc^essor Djerich ends. Frc^essor Djeridi 


justifies Serbia in Macedonia by the antithesis of the 
French justification for holding Alsace-Lorraine and the 
Venizelist theory of national self-consciousness. 

I have never met a European observer familiar with 
Macedonia who did not believe that most of the regions of 
Macedonia held by Serbia and Greece were predominantly 
Bulgarian in national consciousness. This has been the 
virtually universal impression of travelers during the past 
half-century, and was the opinion I formed in my own 
travels in Macedonia. As to national consciousness, I 
know of no more trustworthy testimony than that of Lady 
Grpgan, who did relief work in Macedonia during the 
terrible winter of 1903-04, who learned both Serbian and 
Bulgarian, and who devoted herself to the Serbian Relief 
Fund from 1914 to 1918. Although politically her sympa- 
thies were with the Serbians, Lady Grpgan wrote in 1918: 

"The peasantry of Macedonia believe themselves to be 
Bulgarians. They are Bulgarians in type, customs, Ian* 
guage, dress, and traditions. That they were Bulgarians 
was never questioned by travelers who described and 
mapped the country before the contemporary era of 
national propaganda began. It was as Bulgarians that 
they rose against the Turks in 1903 and 1904, and they 
paid for their assertion of nationality by severe punish- 
ment and prolonged persecutions. It was as Bulgarians 
that they suffered at the hands of the Greek bands in the 
following years. There is no record of any Serbian or 
Greek rising in Macedonia against the Turks." 

350 VENI2EL0S 

Since the biographer is endeavoring to write an inter- 
pretative record of facts and not a eulogy of a man or a 
nation, it is necessary to point out that Venizelos, faith- 
fully representing the sentiment of the Greek nation, made 
a powerful plea for the incorporation of Thrace in Greece 
by the use of arguments the validity of which the Greeks 
indignantly deny when it is a question of Bulgaria using 
them to lay claim to any part of Macedonia. In his brief 
for Thrace, Venizelos says: 

,. *'It may be objected that, In the case of Thrace, the 
principle of nationality should give way before the eco- 
nomic interest of Bulgaria to have an outlet on the^gean 
Sea. But this interest is not sufficiently essential to exact 
such a capital sacrifice from the population concerned by 
compelling them to live imder an administration not in 
harmony with their national conscience." 

: But this "capital sacrifice" was exacted of the Mace- 
doiuan Bulgarians in the Treaty ci Bukarest, and because 
it was exacted of them, the future peaceful development of 
the Balkans was made impossible. Macedonia and Tlirace 
form a crazy-quilt of nationalities, inextricably mixed up 
together, but a f^r settlement by mutual sacrifice and 
compromise was not to be despaired of, as Venizelos him- 
self showed in the two famous memoranda to King Gon- 
stantine in 1915. In 1913 at Bukarest the "prindple of 
nationality,*' whether it be decided by the test of language 
or national consciousness, was rejected as a basis of ter- 



litorial settlement. In 1919 at Paris it was alternately 
invoked and ignored by Venizelos and Pasitch. 

Venizelos defended himself with spirit and eloquence 
against the charge of inconsistency in his radical change of 
policy toward Bulgaria after the victory: 

" It may be asked why, whereas both before and after 
the Balkan Wars I was disposed to make important con- 
cessions to Bulgaria, I am in no way animated with feelings 
of this kind to-day. If, for the moment, after the begin- 
ning of the European War, I foreshadowed even the cession 
of Kavalla to Bulgaria^ I did so with the hope of securing 
the entry of that Power into the war on the side of the 
Allies, in order thereby to assure and to hasten the victory 
of the Allies. . . . No such reasons remain to-day . To enter- 
tain still the same tendencies, to wish still to make con- 
cessions to Bulgaria, would constitute on my part a sort 
of sickly sentimentalism. My fellow-citizens would very 
rightly disavow me, for such a policy would sacrifice, with- 
out compelling reason, the vital interests of my country, 
only for the partial satisfaction of an insatiable neighbor, 
who would take advantage of it to exterminate the alien 
populations fallen under his domination and would draw 
new strength therefrom with a view to a fresh attack at a 
convenient moment." 

For six months Venizelos worked tirelessly at Paris to 
secure recognition of the Greek claims with only one tan- 
gible result — the permission to land Greek troops at 
Smyrna. The Italians blocked the settlement of the North- 
em Epirus claim, making it contingent on the Adriatic 


muddle. TTn^ T ^^li^fyi miMfe iy> n yn yip t(>l>ri*^g^ t^^ ^^"P*^ 
of the Dddecuese for genend dttcntsioflL For fear of 

to aiigii iht txaay tiiegr were pxpuing, the Entente 
Ifa i re r s sidetndDod the IVuldBh settkmeiiL The future 
of Thraoe was oomliiMiit udqii the ditiM) ri tinti of Cobr 
ttandnode ^"^ tlm unfiDnuliIated l^ukiih treaty. When 
the Treaty of VerBaiUes waa aigiied and ^ Treaty of 

<?f the Pftrif CWrfgrwiffg w^^ gffnCT^Hy r^'ifff^ w ^^^^^ywf i 
Preddent WHson returned to the United States ^fith moat 

of his experts. The delegates of the minor states retired, 
feeling that they might as well not have come to Paris 
at all. 

But the Premier of Greece assumed a place, not only in 
public opinion, but also in the eyes of his colleagues, far 
out of proportion to the size and importance of his coun- 
try. This was due in part to his personality. He was able to 
impose himself upon the Paris Conference as easily as he 
had done upon Crete and then upon Greece and the Balkan 
Federation. He took a foremost part in the deliberations 
over the League of Nations, seizing the opportunity the 
League Commission offered of putting Lloyd George imder 
obligation to him and of keeping in close personal touch 
with the leading notables of the Conference. 


From January tx> September, 1919, his principal role was 
that of an observer of the relations of the United States to 
the Entente Powers and of the Entente Powers to one 
another. While he appeared to outsiders and even to some 
of his own inner circle the active participant in the general 
work of the Conference, and the zealous protagonist of the 
League of Nations, Venizelos reserved much of his time 
and all of lus ener^es to following the internal political 
and military developments in Great Britain and France 
and Italy, and the evolution of their policies in the Near 
East and Russia, and to watching each crisis for the favor- 
able moment to advance this or that particular interest of 
Greece. More than once he seemed to let obvious oppor- 
tunities pass, to the perplexity and confusion of his ad- 
mirers. But he knew from experience that asking favors 
or maktng protests would get him nothing. From the rich 
man's table only crumbs fall to the suppliant. On the 
other hand, if he attempted to threaten or bluster or pout, 
his opponents or rival claimants would be able to arouse 
the fear or alienate the sympathy of those whose backing 
and consent he must win. 

If the truth be told, Venizek>s was through with the 
Peace Conference once he had done the obvious and 
banal thing of circulating a printed memorandiun of claims 
and pleading those claims before the Council of Ten. Of 
course he was always ready to talk to newspaper corre- 


spondents and Americaa experts and send briefs to the 
varioxw commissions. The wise man leaves no stone un- 
turned. It was well to keep insisting pleasantly that his 
solution, in regard to each particular problem, conformed 
with the "Fourteen Points," and, besides, was the work- 
able and practical solution. 

But Venizelos felt the futility of resUng his case on its 
merits. His dealings with the Great Powers had uught 
him that mlHury strength, capable of getting tangible 
results, was the only argument to which they would 
pay attention. By fighting he had freed Crete and begun 
the unification of Hellas. Was there any other way of 
crani^eting it? Certunty not at Paris! "Intematknal 
morality," said Vemzelos in 1911, "does not exist.** Sev- 
eral weeks after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, I 
reminded Vemzelos of bis opimon of long ago. His pene- 
trating eyes, inscrutable behind gold-rimmed q)ectacles, 
held me for an instant. The pause made me hope that he 
was going to speak out. 

" But we have the League of Nations now," he answered 
in his soft, caressing voice. "All the small countries are 
delighted. If we all disarm, the big will have no more in- 
fluence than the small. As things are, for instance, what 
can I do with my bit of a navy and my few thousand 
soldiers? Greece is such a little country." 

But on his table were minute reports of matters mudi 


more interesting than the weariaome discussions and bick** 
erings at Paris. Venizdos was studying the growth of the 
labor movement in England and Italy, with a view to 
learning how changing public sentiment was affecting the 
use of troops abroad. With the exception of Premier 
Bratianu of Rumania, Venizdos alone of the statesmen 
of the small countries seemed to realize that the Entente 
Powers had won a Pyrrhic victory and that they were ex- 
hausted militarily as well as finandally. In the summer of 
1919 they had the last hope of dictating their will to the 
world. If they succeeded in getting the treaties accepted, 
it would be because the vanquished and the small states 
to whom the Big Three intended to dictate the law and the 
prophets failed to see throu^ the bluff of huge military 
resources and the pretense of harmony in foreign polides. 
At the Second Plenary Session of the Peace Confer** 
ence Gemenceau answered the protest of the small Allies, 
voiced by Venizelos and others, concerning the method of 
procedure which put aU the power of dedsion into the 
hands of "the Prindpal Allied and Assodated Powers," 
by the simple statement, "We had the force to win the 
war; we have the force to assure the peace." At the 
Eighth Plenary Session Wilson by the same argument 
denied the right of the small states to daim any part in 
framing the Treaty of Saint-Germain. But Gemenceau 
and Wilson supposed two things that did not exist: the 


willingness of the electorate of the cotmtries dtey npre- 
sentcd to furnish more annies and money; and the possi- 
bility of piirsuing a common policy in the solution of world 

The American experts opposed bitterly the demand of 
Greece for Thrace, and succeeded in preventing the Greek 
title to TTirace being written into the Treaty of NeuiUy. 
The Bulgarians were forced to give up Thrace. Its attri- 
bution was "reserved" until the terms of the treaty with 
Turkey were decided upon. The American experts were 
equally hostile to Greek aspirations in Asia Minor. Veni- 
zelos and PoUtis did not antagonize Wilson. What was 
the useF Wilson's influence would last only if he axild 
make a military contribution to the solution of Near- 
Eastern problems, and that was so improbable that it was 
unnecessary to worry unduly over the opinions of ^^^Ison's 
eq>erts. The Italians were unoranpromising on Northern 
Epirus and the Dodecanese, and were engaged in dubious 
enterprises at Sofia and Konia against Greece. Instead of 
raising a row, Venizelos examined the internal political 
situation in Italy, and decided that Italian imperialism 
would fall of itself when Bissolati or Giolitti became pre- 
mier — an event Venizelos prc^hesied as inevitable. When 
the Albanians made things too hot for the lulians and 
public <^inion at h«ne refused rdoforoements, the ques- 
tion of Northern Epirus would be ea^ to adjust. 



As for Thrace, Vemzelos foresaw the moment when the 
enforcement of the treaties with Bulgaria and Turkey 
would call for the occupation of Thrace. Who would fur- 
nish the army for this work? Venizelos had his army ready 
mobilized on the frontier of Thrace. The French and 
British had no troops and the Italians would send none. 
\^lson would limit lus interference to "moral'* support of 
this or "moral" opposition to that. The alternatives were 
non-enforcement of the treaties or inviting Greece to in- 
tervene. And when Greece entered Thrace, she would stay. 


AT the end of the first century of their Empire, the 
Osmanlis gained a decisive victory in the Ballcans 
over the Crusaders from the west. But they were unable 
to put up a good resistance against invaders of their own 
race from the east. When llmur the Lame came to Konia, 
Nasreddin and his wife were agreed that it would be wise 
for the hodja to pay his respects to the conqueror. The 
only cUfference of opinion was concerning the offering that 
should be made to lunur. When Nasreddin stood in the 
presence of the greatest of Tartars, he carried a basket of 
figs. Urnur, who was proud of being a good shot, amused 
himself by using Nasreddin for a target. As eadi fig 
splashed in Nasreddin*s face, the hodja cried, "Allah be 

'*You fool,'* said Tnnur, "I d<Mi*t see what you have to 
praise Allah about." 

"My wife wanted me to bring apples," answered 

Every Turkish diild knows this story of the most famous 
wit of his race. Many generations have chuckled over it. 


They see only the funny side of it. Being a Turk, Nasreddin 
was neither angry nor humiliated. It was Tunur's right to 
throw the figs. It was Nasreddin's duty to make the best of 
the fix he was in. He preserved his equanimity and his 
dignity. Nothing ever happens that could not be worse. 
The wise man realizes this truth and gets comfort and 
strength from it. He does not kick against the pricks. 

The Turks have always been an easy-going and shiftless 
people, adapting themselves to circumstances, without 
ambition or zeal, and unfettered by family ties. They take 
life as it comes, not worrying themselves about the past or 
the future. Nasreddin is the hero of a hundred stories, 
many of which teach the same lesson as that of Nasreddin 
and the figs. Mohammedanism was the ideal religion for 
the Ottoman Turks to adopt. It imposed upon them no 
sense of responsibility for themselves or for others. Under 
Islam they were able to develop a system of government 
that harmonized with their Turanian character. The 
Ottoman system gave to those who wanted to make an 
effort privileges up to the extent of the eflPort they were 
willing to make and at the same time kept them free from 
irksome obligations. An eighth-century Turkish song 
reads : " I have no father, no mother, no home. I ride with 
my sword for companion. Who cares where I go or what I 
become?" This delightful philosophy attracted all sorts 
of adventurers to the fortunes of the first Ottoman Sultan 


and has kept attracting them ever since. "Myself" and 
"to-day" became the leit-motifs of the Ottoman state. 
One was not bound by the past or by others. One did not 
have to think of the morrow or of others. Because the 
Turks did not want to bother with subject races and for- 
eigners, they allowed from the beginning of their domina- 
tion two serious derogations of authority, the constitution 
of the Christians into milUts (nations) under their ec- 
clesiastical leaders, and self-government and eitra-terri- 
toriality for foreigners under the regime known as the 
"Capitulations." Most important of all, this philosophy 
prevented the creation and development of a homoge- 
neous Turkish race, with national consdousness. 

In the Balkan pemnsula and abng the ^gean Sea 
littoral of Asia Minor the so-called Turks have little in 
common with the Anatolian Turks. The Ottoman Em- 
pire foimded and devebped its power on the seacoast of 
Asia Minor, in the islands, and throughout the Balkans by 
the conversion of two classes among the Greeks and Slavs: 
the big landowners, who had everything to gain by em- 
bracing the religion c& the conquerors, and the lowest 
strattun of the population, which followed the line of least 
resistance. Hie converts received the evils of Islam, 
paralysis of the mil and stagnation, without an infusion 
of the virile Turkish blood or an inheritance of Turkish 
traditions. When the cross gradually won back the ground 


lost in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to the cres- 
cent, some of these "Turks" remained under Christian 
rule. Others became mouhadjirs (refugees). They either 
were too ignorant to resist a sheep-like movement or had 
nothing to lose by abandoning their homes. These mon- 
grel Turks form the majority of the "Turkish " population 
in the regions claimed by Venizelos. Very many of the 
others who call themselves Turks (religion and not race 
being the statistical test of nationality) are members or 
Jbangers-on of the Turkish admimstrative system, and have 
no conception of "my country" as we understand that 
expression. Thrace, Constantinople, the coast lands of 
Asia NGnor contain no single element imbued with a feel- 
ing of nationality as strong and as nimierous as the un- 
redeemed Greeks. 

The mistake of the American delegation at the Peace 
. Conference, when it took a stand against " the imperial- 
ism ^ of Venizelos and his ignoring of " the principle of self- 
determinarion," was due to ignorance of the character and 
histofy of the Ottoman Empire. Can we impute to a 
"Civilization, or rather a system such as the Turks evolved, 
our own standards? Are we to take census figures, so 
many Turks and so many Greeks, as evidence of the 
CBStence of a majority and a minority each equally con- 
•dofiis of naticMihood? Venizelos denied the possessicm of 
t coomion nationality by those lumped together as Turks. 


Bora and brought up among the Turks, he knew that the 
compatriots of Nasreddin would accept whatever authority 
was put over them, and that the others, mongrels and 
Ottoman officials and parasites of the system, would dis- 
appear when the system disappeared. And no analogy was 
admissible between the imperialism of European states- 
men and the heart's desire of Venizelos to restore Hellas. 
TTie lands he claimed were Greece's, not only by right 
of prior settlement and twenty-five centuries of glorious 
lustory, but by right of the survival of the Hellenic race 
during nearly five centuries of Turkish overlordship — 
survival in the face of, progress beyond, and superiority 
to, the temporary master element.^ The Ottoman Turks 
neither assimilated the races they conquered nor merged 
their race with the inhabitants to form a new natbn. If 
the gemune Turks of Turanian ori^ were left their hi^ 
plateau in. Asia Minor, all that was Turkish by national 
oonsdousness would remain independent. Thrace, Q)a< 
stantinople, the valleys and ports of the if^ean coast of 
Asia Minor could be incoiporated in Greece with no wkiar- 

' In 1S17, ju>t before the <UuitrDut Wtr of Independence, Pouqueville 
vieited Ana Minor, and found the Greelu of the JEgerna littoral the nioft 
numeroui and protperou* element. He wrote; "Thii people, for *hiftr 
centuries on the (tage of hiitory, U itill the moet vitsl element ia the 
Eaitem Mediterranean." The Anatcdias Grecki niffered the bnut at the 
war in which a unall portion of the Greek race wat liberated. A> Herzbers 
(Geiekteku Griteheniandi, i, 590) lajrs, "300^000 Greeki lost their 1ms m 
order that tioc^ooo ihould be free." 

Block Sea 



1 I 



tion of the principle of self-Kletermination, with no con* 
cession to imperialism. 

Beati possidentes as a doctrine of international diplo- 
macy was abandoned more completely by the victors in 
the World War than by the statesmen of any other trium* 
phant coalition of modem times. The treaties of Ver« 
sailles, Saint-Germain, and Neuilly went back to the Mid* 
die Ages to set boundary lines and determine political 
allegiances. From Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians 
were taken the gains of centuries. Peoples that had been 
in subjection to alien rule since before Columbus discovered 
America were freed. In every debatable question, the 
decision was made upon the principle of pct victis. Argu- 
ments of all kinds, historical, strategic, and economic, were 
adduced to justify transfers of territory where strict ad- 
herence to the doctrine of self-<letermination would have 
left border districts to those who lost the war. 

But when the Peace Conference considered questions 
affecting the Ottoman Empire, the attitude of the states- 
men of Great Britam, France, and Italy was different. 
There had been no imwillingness to disregard the status 
quo and statistics of population where Germans, Austrians, 
Hungarians, and Bulgarians were concerned. The widest 
possible leeway had been given to Poland. Czecho- 
slovakia was created with three million Germans within 
her frontiers. Large and compact masses of the former 

J 3«4 

^^H domi 

-^H thef 




dominant race in Transylvania were no argument against 
the formation of Greater Rumania. Against the Bulgari- 
ans, Serbian claims for strategical "rectifications of fron- 
tier" were allowed without debate. Bulgaria was forced 
to cede her only outlet to the ^gean. None of the Chris- 
tian races on the losing side was spared at Paris. In the 
bitter atmosphere of the Peace Conference (with the ex- 
ception of the Bulgarians when they resisted Greek claims) 
they had no defenders. 

It was a la mode, however, to champion the cause of the 
Turks. Despite the Armenian and Greek ' massacres and 
deportations, the Turks were gentlemen, who had fought 
gallantly and cleanly. British and Frendi soldiers, diplo- 

* Thf great mtereat uken by the United State* in the AnnenUnt, for 
whose relief enormoui nmu have been railed, made ui fail to realise that 
the Greeks of the Ottnnan Empire mScred on the same acale m the 
Anneniant. like the Annenian* the Greeks were enrolled in labor bat- 
talion* for miliuir work, expelled, deported, ma**acred, deprived of their 
women. Only Con*tantinople and Smyrna e*caped the deportatioa decree. 
In July, 1915, the privilege* of the Greek (chod* were aboli*hed, and tbia 
act was soon followed by a aeriei of de cree* which took from the Greeks 
the limited autonomy they had enjoyed ever aince Mohanuned the Qoa- 
queror. Conicripticm started in Aaguat, 191S, fc^owed by lequisitions, 
forced conversion to Islam, M*ault and kidnapmg of women and girl*, 
boycott and suzure of commerce, deportations tn wuust, pillage, baming 
of villages, and massacres. Several month* after the armistice it wa* e«ti> 
mated that of 500,000 deported only 15.000 had returned to their homes. 
The re*t either had perished cv had no home* left to return to. VenizekM, 
in a special memorandum to the Peace Conference, estimated at 773,91$ 
the number of Greeks expelled and deported by the T^irks from Thrmce, 
Asia Mmor, and the Black Sea Trebizond region. The Bishop of Anuw- 
*ia testified that very few of the 160^000 from the Black Sea coa*t had vax- 
vived the deporution. 


mats, and writers, gave the Turks a good character, denied 
that they had violated the rules of the game as had the 
Germans, insisted that the Turks had gone into the war 
against their will, that they were really friends of the En- 
tente Powers, and that it would be a crime to put any 
Turks under the rule of their former subjects. Armenians 
and Greeks were looked upon with disfavor, and their 
aspirations denounced and ridiculed. This was the situa- 
tion faced by Venizelos throughout 1919. He knew that 
he would waste his time by trying to get an acknowledg- 
ment of Greek claims to Ottoman territory by pleading 
before the Conference or its committees or before the 
Supreme Council. The only way was to buy support and 
to call off opposition by direct and secret negotiations with 
the statesmen of the three Powers. 

With the exception of the Serbians and Greeks the ter- 
ritorial claims of the smaller European allies could be al- 
lowed at the expense of discredited foes to whom none was 
disposed to show mercy. Moreover, the resurrection of 
Poland and Bohemia and the aggrandizement of Rumania, 
far from conflicting with the imperialistic ambitions of the 
victors, harmonized with the policy to crush Germany, 
destroy the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and create a new 
balance of power in Europe. But success in achieving the 
national unity of Seri)ians and Greeks meant the failure of 
Italy to receive the award agreed upon as the price of 


Italian intervcnticMi. If they had simply reiied on the 
justice of their cause or invoked the precedent of what the 
other small allies were getting, Pasitch and Vemzelos would 
have failed to make progress before a tribunal one of 
whose judges was an interested party, while the other 
judges were bound by a secret treaty to decide in favor of 
Italy wherever the claims of Greece and Serbia conflicted 
with hers. 

Venizelos was in a more difficult position than his Ser- 
bian colleague. The issue between Jugo-Slavia and Italy 
was clear-cut. It involved only the Adriatic. Greece and 
Italy, as we have already seen, came into conflict in North- 
em Epinu, the Dodecanese, and Aua IVCoor, while Veni- 
zelos never allowed himself to forget that Italy had a 
voice in the dedsion to be rendered about Hirace. JUt 
was constantly combating also the powerful influences 
being exerdsed upon all the Entente Powers to spare the 
Turks, or, as the altemaUve, to divide the Ottoman Em- 
pire into spheres of political and econranic ezpkxtatioo 
without regard to the aqiirations of Otttmian subject 
nationalities. In the British Foreign Office and the French 
\Cni8tere des Affaires Ctrangeres, for instance, there were 
men whose hostility to the poliqr of Venizelos was in> 
spired by no other reason than the fear of the effect vfxxk 
other subject nationalities of pving Greeks their way. In 
the case of Cyprus Venizelos appredated the force of tlm 


anxiety of contagion and refrained from pressing claims 
which, if granted, might embarrass Great Britain in Egypt 
and elsewhere. 

Against the influences, open anid occult, practical and 
sentimental and idealistic, that aimed to save Turkey, 
Venizelos fought with singular forcefulness and tenacity. 
He and Politis regretted deqply the attitude of President 
Wilson and the American delegation, which did nothing 
for allies like China on the ground of '^ American princi- 
ples," but which intervened in an issue not clear, as was 
the Shantung issue, to defend Bulgaria and Turkey! 
Wilson had called Venizelos the greatest figure among the 
statesmen of the Conference:^ but he opposed Venizebs 
tooth and nail with a zeal and energy that puzzled the 
Greek Premier as mudi as it was puzzling the Italian 
Premier. He saw that European finance and American 
mistaken idealism would prove too much for him if he 
waited indefinitely. The continuation of massacres and 
persecutions also demanded standing against the integrity 
of the CXtoman Empire and '^ crossing the Rubicon" by 
some act that would commit both Greece and her allies. 

At the beginning of May Venizelos tokl the ''Big Four" 
that as no progress was being made in settling the terms of 
the treaty to dictate to Turkey, pro^sional measures were 
imperative to protect the lives of Christians in the region 

^ In informal talks with Senators at the Capitol, February 27, 1919. 


of Smyrna. Against the opposition of WUson and Orlando, 
but with the vigorous backing of Llcyd George, Venizeios 
wrung from the Council of Four the permission to land 
troops at Smyrna and occupy whatever points in the hinter- 
land might be necessary to pat an end to Mohammedan 

On May 14, 1919, a new chapter in the history of the 
Near East was begun by the landing of the Greek army at 
Smyrna. Fighting and rioting followed, but was soon sup- 
pressed.' The Greeks seized the railways, and in two 
weeks occupied Aidin. During June the Turkish National- 
ists, who defied the authority of the Constantinople Gov- 
ermnent, gathered volunteers. The .Greeks were ccaa- 
pelled to evacuate iUdin cm July i, but returned — without 
the Turks waidng to ^ve battle — two days later, when 
reinforcements arrived. When the Greeks left, the popula- 
tion of the dty was 53,000, one third Turks, and the rest, 
with the exception of four or five thousand Armenians and 
Jews, Greeks. When the Greeks reentered, on July 3, they 
found less than 4000 Christians and Jews, and two thirds of 
the town was in ruins. The Turks had taken with them all 
wealthy Greeks and most of the Greek women and g^ls. 

> EzcetMi were naturaUy committed. TI1C7 alwayi are on "•"■"nt 
where the oppreued «re mddenlr liberated and given a chance in the ooo- 
tatioa of a military occupatioD to turn the tables. But the charges of 
atiDdtiei and lack of coDtrol and indiscipline made against the Greek army 
have been so completely refuted by impartial eye-witoesi tettimooy Uut it 
is unnecessary to answer then here. _ 


Thousands of dead in the streets and the fields and along 
the roads met the eyes of the Greek soldiers. The Greek 
Boy Scouts, just before the Turkish evacuation, were 
gathered together and offered freedom if they would 
anathematize Venizelos. They refused, and were shot 
down. All around Aidin the Turks, instead of opposing 
the Greek advance, burned villages and shot up their 
Christian fellow-citizens. At Ormourlou, for instance, the 
whole population was murdered. 

While these horrors were going on, the press of Europe 
and America was being fed with stories of Greek atrocities 
after the Smyrna landing. It was asserted that the Turks 
at Aidin could hardly be blamed for reprisals — as if the 
Turks, up to the time of the Smyrna landing, had not 
been responsible for the death of half a million Greeks! 
With great satisfaction Englishmen and Americans and 
Frenchmen, returning from the Near East, told me in 
Paris that the imperialistic and visionary Venizelos had 
stepped into a hornet's nest at Smyrna, and that the oc- 
cupation would ruin Greece financially and end in the 
destruction of the Greek army. There was no more 
sympathy for the Greeks among Stamboul-bewitched 
foreigners (the sentimentalists) and holders of Turkish 
bonds and concessions (the really formidable opponents 
of Venizelos) than for the Armenians. 

When the Conference of Paris adjourned at the end of 


November, the work of Venizebs was still ahead of him. 
On one point only had he scored. Tlie Greeks were at 
Smyrna. But Thrace, although taken from Bulgaria, was 
not assigned to Greece, and no progress had been made in 
the terms of the treaty with Turkey. V'enizclos returned 
to Athens, having been absent a whole year, and received 
an o\'ation that caused the Royalist conspirators to pass 
sentence of death upon him. When they saw that 120,000 
followers, virtually all from the neighborhood of Athens, 
flocked to the Pitsub to greet the Premier, they realized 
that the hope of winning the next general election was 
folly, and began the series of plots to assassinate Venizelos 
that have resulted in arrests and trials and sporadic at- 
tempts duiring 1920. 

While Venizelos was in Athens the Opposition demanded 
a general election. Hiey claimed that Venizelos was doing 
what he had accused Constantine of doing, ruling the 
country ill^ally, and that he should seek a new mandate 
from the people to see whether they approved what had 
been done at Paris. But Vemzelos had nothing tangible to 
present, and he felt that it would be harmful to the inter- 
ests of Greece for him to stay and fight out a general 
election, when his presence was srill demanded wherever 
the Entente premiers should meet to discuss and decide 
upon the questions a year of the Peace Conference had only 
muddled or evaded. Venizelos promised to submit to the 


people in a general election the results of his work for 
Greece in Europe as soon as the work was completed.* 

The day after Christmas found Venizelos in Paris again. 
He gave the keynote of what he had ahead of him when 
he said: "The Greek point of view on the question of 
Turkey is always the same. From the very beginning 
Greece has maintained that an Ottoman Empire in Europe 
must no bnger exist." Venizelos followed the virtually 
continuous continuation conferences from Paris to London 
to Paris to San Remo. The EIntente premiers, at the end 
of April, at last agreed upon compromise terms to dictate 
to Turkey. Venjzelos failed to get more than a protector- 
ate over the Smyrna region, and the Dodecanese question 
was left for direct negotiations between Greece and Italy 
before the final signature of the treaty. But he secured 
what the Treaty of Neuilly with Bulgaria had not given 
him, the incorporation of Thrace in Greece. The San Remo 
compromise stipulated the cession of Eastern (Turkish) 
Thrace to Greece up to the Chatalja lines, just outside of 
Constantinople.' This, of course, meant that Greece must 
also have Bulgarian Thrace, which the Treaty of Nemlly 
had detached from Bulgaria without giving it to Greece. 

^ Faithful to this promise, after the Treaty of Sivretwas digned, Veni- 
zelos fixed November 7, 1920, for the general elecdoo. 

' The "Zone of the Straits,'' to be admmistered under the Leag:ue of 
Nations, limits the Greek boundary for the present to the Enos-Midia line, 
excluding the Gallipoli Penmsula and cutting Greece off from the Sea of 


The internal poliucal situation in Italy necessitated two 
changes of cabinet during the long peace negotiations, and 
made more complicated and delicate the task of Venizelos. 
Orlando and Sonnino gave way to Nitti and Tittoni, with 
whom Venizelos, in a visit to Rome, was able to come to a 
tentative agreement concerning moot questions, on July 
29, 1919. UTien industrial and food conditions in Italy 
led to the downfall of the NittJ Cabinet, Giolitti and 
Sforza came into power. Count Sforza recognized the 
Tittoni notes of December 9, 1919, and January 20, 1920, 
by which Argynscastro and Korytza were allotted to 
Greece, thus solving the difficulty concerning the bound- 
ary between Albania and Epirus. He agreed to the ccxn- 
promise of his predecessor in the matter of a Greek ^here 
in Asia Minor, and renewed the assent given by 'Httoni to 
the occupation of Thrace by Greece. But Count Sforza 
warned the French and British premiers and Venizelos 
that Italy was not boimd by Tittoni's agreement to cede 
to Greece all the Dodecanese except Rhodes. As in the 
case of Fiume, Anglo-French diplcmiacy proved powerless 
to solve this question, and o£Fered only to change the text 
of the Turkish treaty to read that Turkey renounce her 
sovereignty in the Dodecanese, not in favor of Itaiy, but 
in favor of the Allies together, as had been done by Bul- 
garia in the case of Thrace and Germany in the case of her 
colonies. This solution was acceptable neither to Italy 


nor to Greece, The signing of the treaty was held up 
until finally Venizelos and Sforza agreed that Greece 
should have all the Dodecanese except Rhodes, which Italy 
was to cede to Greece when Great Britain ceded Cyprus 
to Greece, 

The Turkish peace treaty was signed at Sevres on August 
10, 1920. Two days later, as Venizelos entered the Gare 
de Lyon at Paris, on his way home, eight shots were fired 
at him by two former Greek oflicers. One bullet lodged in 
the left shoulder and the other in the right thigh. For- 
timately the woimds were not serious, and after a fortnight 
Venizelos was able to return to Greece on the cruiser 
Averoff, which was sent to Marseilles to fetch him. But 
the news of the attempted assassination led to outbreaks 
against the Constantinists at Athens and the sack of anti- 
Venizelist newspaper plants. More to save their lives from 
the crowd than because of complicity in the plot, the 
leaders of the Opposition were arrested. Dragoumis, re- 
sisting the police, was killed. When Venizelos reached 
Athens the leaders arrested were released. 

On September 7, 1920, Venizelos appeared in the 
Chamber of Deputies with his arm in a sling, and sub- 
mitted the treaty with Turkey and the agreement with 
Italy dealing with the Dodecanese. In a long speech, 
despite marked physical weakness, Venizelos made him- 
self once more the voice of Hellas, and predicted confidently 


the termioation of the martyrdcon of centiiries by the 

redemption of the Greeks of the Ottoman Empire. 

But Venizelos did not assert that the signed treaties 
were the instruments of deliverance and marked the 
achievement of the unity of Greece. They were only the 
assent of the Allies to allow Greece to free her unredeemed 
children. The Greek armies were the liberators, not the 
Entente Powers. In fact, the military weakness of the 
Entente Powers had given Venizelos a chance that, with- 
out a powerful army, he ojuld not have seized. This was 
the lesson of Thrace and of Asia Minor. 

For more than a year the statesmen of Europe hedged on 
the Thradan quesdon. But when the time came to sign 
the Turkish treaty, neither the Entente Powers nor the 
Sultan of Turkey had the power to compel the Turks in 
Thrace to yield to the terms of the Treaty of Sevres. The 
army Venizelos had kept patiently on the frontier of 
Thrace was the only avjulable force. TTie Greeks started 
the campaign in TTuat^ on July 19. On July 26 King 
Alexander entered Adrianople, and the issue wearily 
debated at Paris and London and San Remo was settled! 

A month earlier, on June 22, had begun the Greek 
offensive against the Turkish Nationalists in Asia Minor. 
Kemal Pasha, leader of the Nationalists, who had secretly 
been encouraged and supplied with arms and ammunition 
by Italians and French, had bng been embarrassing the 


British. In fact, he was seriously threatening the British 
in the vicinity of Constantinople, had driven them from 
Ismidt, sealed the Dardanelles, and attempted to bom:- 
bard Constantinople. The British had no troops to send 
to maintain their prestige. Venizelos asked the Supreme 
Council for permission to attack the Nationalists, promis- 
ing to render impotent the forces of Kemal Pasha in fifteen 
days. In less than ten days the Greek army, imder Gen- 
eral Paraskevopoulos, broke the military power of the 
Nationalists on a front of nearly three himdred miles. 
In July Panderma, on the Sea of Marmora, was occupied, 
and the Greeks marched on Brusa, which was easily 
captured. Then they were able to render assistance to the 
small British contingents on the Asiatic side of the Bos- 
phorus, which had been harassed for months by the 
Nationalists and driven back to within sight of the 
minarets of Constantinople. 

What Venizelos has stood for throughout his brilliant 
career is not more strikingly illustrated than in the cam- 
paign in Asia Minor. Because the salvation of Hellenism 
depended upon a strong Greece, he left Crete and went to 
Athens hi 1910. The Balkan Wars and the last two years 
of the World War proved that the final argument — in 
fact, the only argument that coimted against the unwill- 
ingness of the Powers to see Greece e^qpand and liberate 
her brethren under Turkish yoke — was the ability of the 


Greek army to fight. After nearly two yean of n^otia- 
tions that were virtually fruitless, in a few days in Thrace 
and Asia Minor Venizelos put an end to the integrity of 
the Ottoman Ejnpire. 

Adrianople and Smyrna are stepping-stones to Con- 
stantinople. Students of the Italian risorgiitunto maintain 
that the movement could not have ended elsewhere tlian 
in Rome-lThe renascence of Hellenism cannot end else- 
where than in Constantinople*,fe[ow long it will take to 
achieve the unity of Hellas depends upon the Greek peo- 
ple. If they continue to give their support to Venizelos, he 
will know how to lead the Greek army to its final victor>'. 
The Powers may interpose their veto. But the life of 
Venizelos demonstrates the fo ly of vetoes. In the prayer 
of eight million Greeks, *'Zeto Venizelos!" the aspirations 
of Hellenism are practically expressed. For if the Cretan 
lives, and continues to lead, he will acccnnpHsh what the 
greatest Mediterranean islander before him failed to ac- 
complish. He wiU take possession of Constantinc^le. 



Abdul Hamid, Sultan, sends army to 
Crete, 17, 18; accords autonomy to 
Crete, 23: revives old constitution, 
C{; and Macedonia, 104, loc. 

Adrianople, in the Balkan Wars, 122, 
I3^3»f isa; Treaty of, Sept. 14, 
1829, 265; Alexander enters, 374. 

JEgtan Islands, ceded to Balkan States, 
13^; status of, 216-18; break with 
Athens, 282; Greek claims in, 338. 

Aidin, 368, 369. 

Akrotiri, 24, 27, 28. 

AlbanU, i33-35» I37; 138, 139-4^, 37^. 
Albanians, and the Young Turks, 105. 
Alexander, Crown Prmce of Serbia, 123. 
Alexander, King of Greece, 300-03, 300, 

Allies, the small, 355. Sa Entente 


American detection at Peace Confer^ 
ence, 356, 301. 

Amnesty of 1872, 3. 

Anchialos, 155. 

Andreades, Professor, 179 n. 

Ari^rocastro, 372. 

Asia Minor, promise of concessions in, 
210; Greek claims m, 338, 356; Greek 
campaim in, 374, 375. 

Asquitn, Premier, 153. 

Athens, University of, 4, 5, 167, 168, 
291, 292. * 

Austna-Hungary, 35, 78, 103, IQ4, III. 

Balkan Alliance, the, surprised Euro- 
pean statesmen, loi; formation of, 
103, 104; hastened by war between 
Italy and Turkey, 108; threatens to 
dissolve, 124, 136, 137; factors working 
against preservation of, 137, 138. 

Balkan States, used as pawns, iii; war 
with Turkey not welcomed by states- 
men of, 118; and note of the Powers, 
118, 119; send ultimatum to Turkey, 
119; their demands at London, 129, 
130; denounce armistice, 131. 

Balkan War, First, 118-35; Se(X>nd, 136- 


Berlin, Congress of, 8, 15. 
Bible^ the, in Greece, 17a 
Bosnia^ 57. 

Bourchier, J. D., London Tinuj corre- 
spondent, 112, 113, 154. 

Boycott, of Greek goods and Greek 
ships, by Turkey, 03, 64, loi. 

Bra tianu. Premier, of Rumania, ^55. 

British naval officers in the Mediterra- 
nean, 267-70. 

Brusa, 375. 

Bukarest, Treaty of, 149758, 350. 

Bulgaria became ageressive in 1884-86, 
8; independence of, declared, 57; mili- 
tarv alliance of Greece with, 98; and 
Balkan politics, 103-07; makes treaty 
with Greece, 100, 113; makes treaty 
with Serbia, no, iic; sends ultima- 
tum to Turkey, 119: ner plan of cam- 
pai^ in Balkan War, 121, 122: her 
position after the First. Balkan War, 
127, 128; her claims m Macedonia, 136, 
348-51; and the Treaty of Bukarest. 
151-53; floats loan in otrUn, 218; and 
the treaty between Greece and Ser- 
bia, 236-40, 253-56, 259, 260; mo- 
bilizes, 2^ 241; moraU of, broken by 
intervention of Greece, 325; capitu- 
lates, 326, 327. 

Bulgarians, the, in the First Balkan 
War, 122, 123; outwit the Greeks and 
plant their flag in Saloniki, 125, 137; . 
disappointed at their achievements. 
126, 127, 132: attack Greeks and 
Serbians and begin Second Balkan 
War, 145; defeated, 145, 146; and 
Greeks, the feeling between, 155-58; 
invade Macedonia, 274, 275; test of 
nationality of, 346, 347. 

Canea I, 3. 23. Hj 63. 

Capitulations, foreigp, 56, 360. 

Capodistria University, 167. 

Charles, ^^'^J?' ^^ Rumania, 146, 147* 

Churchill, Winston, 208, 229. 

Clemenceau, 251 n., Ji8, 355. 

Clergyj the, and Venizelos, 295-97.^ 

Commission of Indenmities, Mized^ 
292, 29^, 305. 

Constantme, King, as Crown Prince 
leads Gceek forces, 124; becomes 
King, iji^ yields to Venizelos, 147, 
148; convmced of the necessity of 



indineby the Eateate, igjichtagci 
> miacl, aoj; VeDoekx remciasCntcs 
with, io^~a6; the Uiue between Veni- 

ukM and, lis; did not i^intiathiie 
with the pan-Hellenic idea of Veni- 
zclot, llS; I'mprEued hy Venizeloi'i 
third memorandum, ill; refuie* to 
participate ia Dardaaetic* campaign, 
ai4;arEumeiiu {or hit policy in regard 
to the Dardanellei campaign, 115-17; 
bii conditioni of Greek intervention, 
iXj-if); bad faith oT, 119, ajo; in >c- 
clution, 135; ailu Vcnlzelo* to tnake 
new cabinet, ij6; convinced that 
Germany would win, 141, 179; give) 
conicDt lor mobitiation, ui; givei 
cuntenl 10 aik Entente toaend 150,000 
troopi, 24}; wilhdrawt canaent, 14J, 
344; extent of hiiEuilt.£S5: decides 10 
break with Vcnizcloi, »Si; rulei uncon- 
iututie»ially, tby, capture of Drama 
And Serei aeriout blow to prestt^ of, 
>75; plays for time, 177; if a patriot, ■ 
miitaken one, 179; and the Entente, 
189. 39O; Allied ultimitum to, 191; 
deposed, iqg, ]oo; agreed to leave 
Ateiander as King, 300, joi, 30). 

Conitantioople, Bl, 339, jjS, 376. 

Corfu, 26+, 

Creuni, without hope in their own des- 
tiny, 1; opposed war between Greece 
and Turt^, 30-31- elected to the 
Greek Chamber of Deputies, 7B; re- 
solve to prevent landing of kadis, 95; 
Deputies of, prevented by the Powers 
frtim going to Athens, 96, 97; land oa 
Samoc, 98. 

Crete, under Turkish rule, 1-4; neces- 
sity of union with Greece, y, rote of, 
b the life of the Hellenic race. la, 13; 
signiiicaoce of, Ij; taken by the 
Turks, 13, 14: "tte Turk*" of, 14; 
remained Greek Christian, 14; in the 
Greek war of independence, 14; sac- 
rificed by the Powers, 14-16; period of 
insurrectlona in, Ij: under the Pact 
of Halepa, 16; politics in. 16, 17; 
army of^ 40,000 sent to, 17; conces- 
sions to, canceled, i8j election strike 
in, tSj without General Asjeinbly, iS; 
(ulonomtit revolution in, la; mas- 
sacres in, 13; autonomy, "under the 
soverei^ty of the Sutlan." accorded 
to. 23; proclaims union with Greece, 
X|; to be made autonomous under the 
suzerainty of the Sulun, 27; difficulty 
IT auuu far, 3J, 34; 

recognition of ReToIutiooary Af- 
sembly of, 34; itatui for, eatabbsbed, 
j;, j6; under Prince George of Greece, 
39-44; the Thcriuo revotutiom io, 
44-47; Prince George leaves, 49; 
changed status of, 50, jl; what Vcni- 
zelos accomplished for. 51. 53; Vati- 
Eelos Premier of, 54, 55; in 1907. 55; 
union with Greece, declared, 57, 58; 
attitude of the Powers towird tlir 
declaration of union. ;S, 59; ganwat 
of the Powen withdrawn from, 60, 61; 
evacuated by the Powers, 63; Greek 
flag hcHsted in, 6}; Powers cut dowa 
flagstaff in, 64; members of Cabinet 
swear allegiance id King of Gt««cie, 
68; Assembly c^oed in name of King 
George, 71; Assembly changed ioto 
Constituent Assembly, 7a; sovtrciga 
rights of Turkey continued in, 7J-74; 
reconquett of, ilic Turkish object, 78; 
news of Venaeioa'a clectioo victorjr 
received io, 9;; ceded to Greece, 9^ 
breaks with Athens, aSa. 

Crown Council, aia, 313. 

Curzon, Lord, 


Daneff, Premier of Bulgaria, 144. 

Daoilo, Prince, of Montenegro, iia^ 115. 

Dardanelles, the, the attempt to ttmt, 
aiS, aa3-as, 331-33. 317. 

Delysnnes, Premier, is, 16. 

Deputies, Chamber of, 
elected to, 75; Cretans elected to, 78, 
96, 97; Cretans resign from, 79; Veiu- 
teios s struggle with, 89-91; disaolved, 

Dictitor, the successful, 161. 

Dobrudja, the, 146. 

Dodecanese, the, ia6; leiud b]r Italv, 
110; recognition of "right" of Italy 
tokeep,i09;Gre«kclaim to, 338,34 j- 

16, 3s6; question of, left to Greece aAd 
taly, 371-73. 
Dragoumii, Premier, B9, laa, 373. 


', »7S- 

Egerton, Colonel, aj. 

Erssuns, BatUe at, 114. 

Eliakii, associated with Veniielo* 00 
newspaper, 41, 43. 

Entente Powers, the, refuse Gr«ek as- 
sisuince, ao?; try to keep Bulguia 
neutral, 107, 108 ; seek assistance of 
IUI7, 108, 109; weak and ditgruxf^ 





diplomaqr of, 226, 227, 21^, 238; and 
troops promised as Serbia's quota, 
2A4, 248, 250; fail to take advanuge 
ot opportunity offered by Venizelos, 
246; land troops at Saloniki, 249; 
negotiate with Bulgaria on the basis 
of violating the Greco-Serbian Treaty, 
255, 256; foresee necessity of falling 
back on Saloniki, 263; forces of, re- 
treat to Macedonia, 264; abuses of 
sea power by, 267-70; play into Con- 
stantine's hands, 27c, 276; intrigues 
of, at Athens, 278; dfo not take sides 
openly with Venizelos, 289-91; refuse 
request of Venizelos that he be al- 
bwed to come to test of arms with 
the King, 299; depose Constantine, 
299, 300; nature of their interest in 
Greece, 318; never lost sight of the 
spoils of war, 321; given fresh hope by 
intervention of Greece, 325, 326; and 
the terms of the armistices^ 332. 

Epirus, I2J, 274, 337, 339-40, 356, 37a- 

Esperey, General Franchet d', 326, 327. 

Essad rasha, 131, 133. 


Eydoux, General, 189. 

Fatalism, tendency of the Greeks to, i, 2. 
Ferdinand, Czar, 132, 146. 
Ferdinand, Prince, of Bulgaria, 57. 
Ferrero, General, 341. 
Finances, Greek, 182-8^. 
Foumet, Admiral Daruge du, 291. 
Franz-Josef, Emperor, 57. 
Frontiers, basis of fixing of, 335, 336. 

Gallipoli, 203. See Dardanelles. 
General Staff, Greek, 218, 219. 
Gennadius, on Venizelos, 271, 272. 
George, King, of Greece, 50, 131. 
George, Prince, of Greece, 36, 39-44, 49, 

Germany, 35, 60, 78. 

Giannakitsas, General, 261. 

Giolitti, 372. 

Goudas, Admiral, 234. 

Gounaris, Premier, 224, 227, 235. 

Greco-Bulgarian Treaty, no, 113. 

Greece, ancient and modern, 6, 7; unity 
of, 9, 10; war with Turkey, 1897, 24, 
29-31; her attitude on hoistmg of 
Greek flag in Crete, 63; not readv 
for war, 79; the Kingdom of, the Pied- 
mont of the Greek race, 81; the royal 
family a valuable asset to, 87; mili- 
tary alliance with Bulgaria, 98; Crete 

ceded to, 99; neutrality of, in Balkan 
war, expected, loi ; willing to act with 
Bulgaria against Turkey, 107; treaty 
with Bulgaria, no, 113, 114; war 
with Turkey, 1912, 119, 121; her plan 
of campaign, 122; question of com- 
bining with Serbia against Bulgaria, 
138; treaty of alliance with Serbia, 
142; in danger of being abandoned by 
Serbia, 148, 1^9; population of, 167; 
schools of, 167; the University of 
Athens, 16^, 168; the language ques- 
tion in, 109-72; legislative and ad- 
ministrative reforms of the last ten 
years in, 173-80; the merchant ma- 
rine of, 175, 176; railways of, 176; in- 
dustrial le^slation in, 177; a^arian 
legislation m, 178; agriculture m, 179, 
180; the finances of, 182-87; increase 
of military efficiency of, under Veni- 
zelos, 187-90: stands by the Entente, 
1^7, 198; renisal of help of, by the 
Entente, 207; and the Serbian Treaty, 
225, 226, 236-40, 2SJ-S6, 259, 260, 
change of public opinion in, 251, 256, 
257; creation of Kingdom of, 26c, 
26iS; sovereign rights of, ignored, 266; 
blockaded, 292; enters the war, 304; 
suspected by the Entente, 317; the 
resources of, in the last year of the 
war, 323, 324; intervention of, gave 
new hope to the Allies, 325, 326; her 
military part in the war, 325-28; her 
community of interest with Great 
Britain, 33J, 334; dispute with Al- 
bania over Northern Epirus, 339-43; 
her claims to Macedonia, 3^.8-51; and 
so-called Turks, 361-63; her settle- 
ment with Italy, 372, ^73; assent of 
Allies to achievement of unity of, 374. 

Greek armv, the, 324-28, 374, 376. 

Greek irredentbm, 81. 

Greek Socialists, 153, 1^4. 

Greeks, Ottoman, and higher education, 
4; ambitions of, 6, 7; sea dominates 
the life of, 12; the merchant class 
of, 80-83; in the First Balkan War, 
123, 12^ 126; and Bulgarians, the 
feeling between, 155-58; their atti- 
tude m the years IQ15 and 1916, 2^7, 
2c8: dbtribution of, 337; persecution 
of, by Turks, 364 n.; campai^ of, in 
Thrace, 374; campaign of, in Asia 

Minor, 374. 375. 
Grey, Sir Edward, 210, 226. 
Grogan, Lady, on Macedonia, 349. 
Gryparis, Foreign Minister, 90. 



Guetlioff, PrODttT of Bolpri*, oon- 
cilUlotT ■niuide of. 106-08, itz; 
Graeo-Bulnrian Trea^ ugncd by, 
113; ftod veniuloi, iRcr the Firit 
BilkiD W». 127. 118; oppoted lo war 
witii Greece aad SerbU, 14}; toigoi, 

Guuiianut, Goieril, jaj. 

Htdjopoubt, Coload, 175. 

Halepa, P*ct of, 16. 

Hdlu.9. io,aS4. 

Hellenic unity, 9, IQ, ai, 39. 

ReJIeniim, 7, iSi. 

HenegoviMi, 57. 

Hibben. Piiion, lat n., 21 ■ n., 155 n., 

H0I7 Syaod, iht, *nil VeniukN, 19$. 

InduitHll legJilstion in Gnece, 177. 

Ifredcntittn, Gnck, Si. 

Iuli4iu, Saraoi leiscd by. 98; at VsIddi, 

luly. her war with Totfccy, 96. 1081 hei 
policr itv the Bilkam, i^, 109; letzci 
the Dodecineie, 110; her help m the 
World War ihe object of Entente 
diplomacy, loS. 200; the treaty of 
April, 1915, 108. 226. J4;; her aettle- 
meot with Greece, J71, 373. 

ianioa. 123. 117, 128, 131, 13*. 
onescu, Take, i;j, 191. 
ocnart, b Greece, 199, 301-04, 311. 

Eadii, and the Cretans, 9;, 96. 

Karatheodory Paiha, 19-21. 

Eavalla, Venizeloi iniiiU on daiminK, 
I^a, 156-58; Veniielof willing to »ac- 
Tihce, in the intereit of Helleniam, 
»i», 2I4J promised lo Bulgaria by the 
Entente Power*, aj8; Bulgariaot uke 
heights around, 175. 

Kemal Pasha, 374, 375. 

Kerr. Admiral, 103, 206. 

Kiamil Pa»ha. ia8. 130. 131. 

Kirk Kilisse, Battle of, i>2. 

Koryua, 571. 

Koundouriolii, Admiral, 116, 281, 198. 

Kumanova, Battle of, 113. 

Lanidowne, Lord. 24^ 250. 

La SnurrmnU, quotauon from, 153. 

Lloyd George, 368. 

London, Treaty of, 99; necotiatioiu at, 

after the First Balkan War, IJ9. 
Lule Burgai, Battk oi, lU. 

Macedoiiia, invaded br ibe Bnlgariaiu, 
174. 17s; break* mtb Atbeo*. 381; 

daim to. )4^l> 
Macedoaiaii part)'' b Bvlnria, 143, 144. 
Micedoniui qoeatioa, toe, B, i03-«(^_ , 

Mahmoud Shcvkei PatLa, 77, 131. 
MahoD. Sir Bryan. 148- 
Majoneo, Premier, ijo. 
Ktatii, Cretan President, j6. 
Mavromichalis, Greek I>cpuly. 91, 91. 
Mcrebanl (1»m o( Greece, 8o-«3. 
Merchant marine of Greece, 175, 176. 
Metuai, Colonel, an, aaa, 
Miliuiy League, the, 7s, 80-S8, 9$. 
Miloe, General, 317. 
Minitiriei, Greek. 174-76. 
Minoritiei, the protectioa of, 70, 71. 
Mixed Commiuion of Indemnities, 393 m, 
Mohammed AYi, 14, 15. 
Monaitii, 124. 
Montenegro, 8, 99, 109, IIO, 115, 11^ 



Mount Athoa, 13s. 

Naareddin and Tlmur, story of, 35B, 359. 

National Labor Board. 177. 

Nationality, the test of, 336, 345-51, 

Nazim Pasha, 129, 131, 

Neuilly, Treaty of, 156, 36J. 

Nicbolai, King, of Niontenegro, 109, t ij. 

Nicholas, Prince, 154, 167. 

Nider, General, 325. 

Nitti, J7i. 

Novi Baiar, I2J. 

Orlando, Premier, J43, j68, J7«. 
Ormourlou, j6(t. 

Ottoman Empire, the, 360-67, 371. 
Ouchy, Treaty of, IJ6. 

Panas. M., Ilj. 

Panderma, 375. 

Pan-Germanism, 109. 

Pan-SIai-ism, 109. 

Paratkevopoulos. General, }7S. 

Pasiich. Premier of Serbia. I44, ijo^ iqj. 

Peace Conference, the, JJo-57. 

Philippopolis, ISS' 

Plata nia, 46. 

PoUtid. 36J. 

Poiitia, ^"icl»oIa^ 179 *■, 14>S, 356^ 367. 



"Pomaka," 347. 

Porto-Lagos, 156, 157. 

Powers, tne, sacrifice Crete, 14-16, 18; 
lack of harmony among, 23; tiy to 
prevent war between Greece and Tur- 
Key, 24; decide to make Crete autono- 
mous under the suzerainty of the 
Sulun, 27; and the Turko-Greek War, 
28-33; establish status for Crete, 33- 
36; continue Prince George in Crete, 
41, 42; continue existing status in 
Crete, 44; and the Therisso revolu- 
tion, 44-49; ask King of Greece to ap- 
point successor to Prince Georae, 49, 

50; their attitude toward the Young 
Turk movement, 56, 57; their atti- 
tude toward the Cretan declaration 

of union with Greece, 58, 59; their 
policy one of expediency, 59; withdraw 
their garrisons from Crete, 59, 60; 
called upon by Venizelos to state their 
intentions with regard to Crete, 61, 62: 
evacuate Crete, 63; land in Crete and 
chop down the flagstaff, 64; by their 
act they made ineviuble the World 
War, 66; address strong note to 
Cretan government, 68; upbraid 
Venizelos, 72; irresolution and insin- 
cerity of, 73, 74; continue their nega- 
tive role, 74, 75, ^s; prevent Cretan 
Deputies from gomg to Athens. 96, 
97; note of, before the Balkan War, 
116, 117; intervene in Albania, 133, 
138; their basis for negotiations, 134. 
Prisdna, 123. 

Railways in Greece, 176. 

Rallis, Premier, 67, 91. 92) 222. 

Refugees (mouhadjairs), 106, 107, 193, 
194, 216-18, 361. 

Repoulis, Minister, 316. 

Rethvmo, 24, 46. 

Rhodes, 98, 209. 372, 373. 

Roupel, Fort, surrender of, 273. 

Rumania, 364; offers to atuck Bul- 
garia. 106; declares war on Bulgaria, 
146; herattitude toward Bulgaria, i Ji, 
152; sounded by Venizebs. 213; m- 
tervention of, in the Great War, 276; 
collapse of, 278. 

Rumelia, Eastern, 8, 103. 

Russia, 78, 103, 104, III: proposes 
Prince George of Greece as High Com- 
missioner in Crete, 36; refused to 
consent to Greek troops entering 
Consuntinople, 226; declares war on 
Bulgaria, 248. 

Saint-Germain, Treaty of, 363. 

Saloniki, the center of the Committee 
of Union and Progress, 105; Bulgari- 
ans to demand joint occupation of, 
122; Turkish army in, capitulates, 124; 
Bulgarians march toward, 12^; wanted 
by the Bulgarians, 127; the Expedition 
of, 247-51. 

San Giuliano, 341. 

San Remo, conference at, 371. 

Sandansky, 125. 

Sarrail, General, 248, 266, 287, 288, 290. 

Savoff, General, 122, 123, 145. 

Schenck, Baron, 235. 

Schlieman, Agamemnon, 296. 

Scuuri, I2Q, 130, 131, 133. 

Serbia, and Balkan alliance, 103, 104, 
115; sends ultimatum to Turkey, 119; 
her plan of campaign, 122; treaty of 
alliance with Greece, i£2, 225, 226, 
2^6-40, 253-56, 259, 260; abandons 
Greece, 148, 149; army transported 
to Corfu, 26^: question of sending 
army to Sabniki, 264, 265; her claims 
to Macedonia, 348-51; rectifications 
of frontiers of, 361. 

Serbians, the, in Balkan Wars, 123, 126, 
n2, 131. 

Serbo-Bulgarian defensive alliance, 112. 

Serbo-Bulgarian Treaty, no, 115. 

Serbo-Bulgarian War, 8. 

Seres, occupied hv Bulgarians, 275. 

Sevres, Treaty of, 373, 374. 

Sfakianakis, 33, 35* 

Sforza, Count, 372, 373. 

Skouloudis, Stephanos, 263, 265, 273. 

Skradi-Legen, 325. 

Smyrna, «i, 368, 369, 371. 

Society of Nations, basis of, 335, 336. 

Sonnino, Baron, 342, 372. 

Stenimachos, 155. 

Stratot, accuses Venizelos, 191. 

Streit, Foreign Minister, 205, 206. 

Struma front, 325. 

Suda Bay, 13, 3^ 

Tahsin Pasha, 124, 125. 

Theodoroff, General, 125, 137. 

Theotokis, Premier, 67, 92, 222, 223. 

Therisso revolution, the, 44-47. 

Thrace, Greek claims in, ^37, 350, 356, 
3^7» permission given for incorpora- 
tion of, in Greece, 371, 372; Creek 
campaign in, 374. 

Tittoni, 372. 

Todoroff; General, 327. 

Trade-unionism in Greece, 177. 


rilb Eacci 

Tratjr, of Adrianopk, Sqit. 14. 1819, 

a at BvLimc, 149-58. js<s Gm»- 
iraa, 110, II]; GrcCT-Scrbao, 

CDW. April, 1915, 

145; of London, 99^ of 

j6]: o( Oochy, li6j oJ 

_. ...^.nuin, }6y, SerbD-Bu^nao, 

-A "S; 0* Sivif, 37J. J74i Toroo- 

Gf^ Otc 4, 1S97, }]; ol V<iMit)c>, 

^ ■ 

TTicoupa, lOJ. 

Triple AIlUocc, the, 109. 

Tripoli, 108, 110. I 

TKnidenx, E-j-i IT?*- | 

Turco-Greck Tre«t^, Dec. 4. if 

I'l fornu Turkitfa clrmeii 
00k pride in Crtte, 14. 
:d to, by the Pcnccn, ., 
..» oT, in Cicte, ifr^; < 
Greece, 14, 19-J3: peniiu in 

to cbuge of stalvi quo ia Crete, jo; 
becomet conitilutional montrchy, 55; 
tier inlcntion to use the Cretan ques- 
tion to buioiliate Greece, 63; id- 
dresiei note* to Greece on the hoiiling 
of Greek fl*g in Crete, 6j; boycotii 
Greek ihipt and good*, 6%, 64; pn> 
te»U aoneiation of Crete to Greece, 
67, 66; warnith lul>',96, loS; decidei 
to diiann Macedonia, 104; her mili- 
tary weakncii, 110; the Balkan Statei 
•end ultimatum to, 119; makei no 
direct aniwer to ultimatum, ijo; de- 
clare! war on Bulgaria and Serbia, 
l»o; effort* to keep Greece out of the 
war, lao, iii; and the Pint Balkan 
War, iiS~35; and the agieemcot at 
London, 114, 135; reoccupiea Adrian- 
ople, 151; enter* World War, 107. 

Turkiih refugeei, 106, 107, igj, 194, 
»i6-iS, 361. 

Turko-Ru*tian War, tte, 7, 8. 

Turk*, the, in Crete, 3, 3; character of, 
359> 360; Anatolian and localled, 
360, 361; their cauie championed by 
Entente diplomat!, 164, 365; ttrodtiea 
of, at Aidin, 368, 369. 

Univeniiy of Atheai, 4, J. >67. '68, 

19i< >9^ 
Uakuh, iij. 

Veaiwioa. Oeipiaa, mother of Ele» 

iherio*, I, >. 
Veniceki*, ElenthnvM, bjrtb, 1; an it»- 

*eA*e in wUcfa hi* tife-work waa ca^ 
decided upon, 6; Europe in hia itudent 
dayi, 8; inipired t>y idea of Greek 
unity, 9, 10, 11; hi* anenujr, 9, lo; 
return* to Crete, lo^ n; candidate for 
the General Auembly of Crete, 16; 
introduces new spirii in Cretan poB- 
tio, 17; advocate* election (trike, 18; 
r«*iiti lemputioo id catt in hti far- 
tune* with Ottoman Empire, 19, 30; 
decs not favor autonomiit rcvolo- 
lion in Crete. 1C^-II; takes commaod 
of Cretan iniurgjenu, 14; dcfiei th« 
Power*, a;-l8; hit teatoo for not op- 
poaini; war between Grrvat and Tllf- 
key, sS, vj; and the Revotutiooary 
Aaaembly, 30, 3 1: hi* nipulationa, jj, 
33; had ^niui far coociliatioa tem- 
pered with lirmneii, 34; obtain! tec~ 
ognition for Revolutionary Asicmbty, 
34; coniidert the new regime ai 

4a, 43; impriioned, 43; and the ,Tbe- 
ris*o revolution. 44-47; negotiate* fcf 
union with Greece, 47-49: identified 
with national cauie, jj; Premier of 
Crete, 54, S5; doei not oppoae land- 
ing partie* of the Power*. 64; aban- 
don* hope of laving Hellcniim with 
help of the Powen, 65; hi* role un- 
favorably preienied, 69, 70; hia atti- 
tude on Moslem Deputie*, 71; Preu- 
dent of Cretan government, 71; 
elected to Greek rfamber of Depo- 
tici, 7j; hi* purpoie in traiufemng 
hi* activitie* to Atheni, «, 76, 

Denounced at a traitor by the Turki, 
78; had Greek ciliien*hip, 79; trkd 
to avoid rupture with Turkey^ 79; 
had confidence and *upport of Greek 
merchant!, 80, Si; rcpretenUitive oi 
unredeemed Greece, 81; not anti- 
dynastic, 83-85, 87; hi* receptioa at 
Athen), 83; wins approval of the 
people, Sj-Sj; leader of itroog Pu> 



liamentaiy part^ 86; explains his 
position to the King, 89^ his confi- 
dence, 90; becomes rrenuer, 90; his 
struggle with the Deputies. 90^ 91; 
his resignation not accepted, 91, 92; 
wins in elections, 92, 93; tries to 
avoid giving Turkey a casus belliy 96- 
99; a man of vision, 100; sought to 
avoid Balkan War, 102. no; again 
Premier, 106; fathers Balkan Alliance, 
107, 111,113; declares war on Turkey, 
121; and Gueshoff, 127, 128; secures 
cession of £gean Islands to Balkan 
States, 134; represents Greece in nego- 
tiations at London, IJ4-40; desires 
to preserve Balkan AUiance, 136-39; 
his resistance to popular clamor, i%g; 
why opposed to Second Balkan War, 
141; and treaty with Serbia, 1^2; ap- 
proves mediation of Ring Charles, 
147, 149; and Trea^ of Bukarest, 
l4Qh-5i; insistent on aji valla, 156-C8. 
Enjoyed the implicit faith of his 
followers, 159, 100; his campaign 
speeches, z6o, 161; listened and talked 
to the people, 162-64; never made 
alluring promises, 164. 165; hit straight 
from the shoulder, 165, 166; his man- 
ner of asking for popular support. 
166; and Greek schools, 167, 168; ana 
the language question, 169-72; has 
alwa3rs been pro-Greek, 172, 173; 
not a class representative, 173; his 
legislative ana administrative re- 
forms, 171-80: his coadjutors, 180-82; 
and Greek military efficiency, 187^^; 
for Balkan Confederation, 191, 192; 
increases Greek navy, 193; decides 
to offer to join the Entente, 194, 195; 
states his attitude to Pasitch, 195: 
questions the attitude of Bulgaria and 
Turkey, 195, 196; declares adhesion 
of Greece to the Entente, 197, 198; 
his defense, 199, aoo; his conduct 
justified, 20&-03; letter to Constan- 
tine on joining the Entente, 204-06; 
offers resignation, 206; silent on En- 
tente diplomacy, 209: receives prom- 
ise of concessions in Asia Minor, 210; 
memoranda of, to the Ring, on co- 
operating with the Entente, 211, 213- 
IC, 220, 221; his idea of conditions 
of Greek intervention, 212, 213; 
wishes to share in Dardanelles ven- 
ture, 218, 219; summons council of 
former Premiers, 222, 223; asks for 
permission to mobilize Greek army, 

241; addresses the Ring on the Rine's 
Cbnstitutional duty, 2jz; asks tor 
war loan, 245; emphasizes Greece's 
Balkan policy, 245; i)rotests landing 
of troops at Saloniki, 2^7; receives 
vote of confidence, 248; his judgment 
in the Dardanelles matter, 225-27; 
on the possibilities for Greece in the 
Gallipou Campaign, 232, 233; suc- 
cessful in elections, 23 3-3 c; his con- 
dition for making new cabinet, 236, 
237; sends dispatch to Germany on 
attitude of Bulgaria, 240; resigns, 
249^ urges aid to Serbia, 252^ 253; 
envisaged possible German victory, 
259; his disagreement with the Ring 
set forth, 262; asks his followers to 
refrain from voting, 264; refuses to 
countenance a republican movement, 
270-73; sees threat in surrender of 
Fort Roupel, 373; plans to contest 
the elections, 27^ ^ 

Gives last public warning to the 
Ring, 276, 277; and^ the question of 
openly defsring the Ring, 277^1; pro- 
claims revolution, 282; at Saloniki. 
285; creates army, 285; faith inspireo 
by, 285-87; his manner with the 
soldiers, 287; the work accomplished 
by, 287, 288; his faith, 288, 2iB9; no 
longer recognizes Constantine as 
Ring, 294^ and the Holy Synod, 295: 
ask permission to come to test of 
arms with the Ring, 198; the final 
authority in shaping peace terms in 
Near East, 301; was not consulted is 
regard to the abdication of the Ring, 
301, 302; declares for the new Ring, 
304; accepts Premiership, 304, 305; 
works to repair past misfortunes, 
306^08; and the Britbh correspond- 
ents, 307; his speech in defense of hit 
policy, 308-1 J ; visits Entente capitals, 
316-19; has insisted upon full recog> 
nition of rights of Greece, 319; urges 
importance of the Macedonian front, 
320; asks for coal and ships, 320, 321; 
realizes that Greece must be a strong 
ally, 321-23; arranges for positbn en 
Greek troops in attacking army, 326, 
328; addresses Athenians. 329; in- 
creases armed strength of Greece, 129. 

Under no illusions as to Peace Con- 
ference. 331; welcomes President 
Wilson^s mtervention, 331; antici- 
pates defeat of Wilson, 332; deter- 
mines to follow 'the British lead, 33a,